During this time of the year, it is difficult to walk into stores such as Target and Walmart and not see huge displays of gifts for Valentine’s Day. Everything from large stuffed animals, flowers, cards, and candy. At one recent visit, I picked up a heart shaped box of chocolates weighing 5 pounds. I thought to myself, that is what you call a heavy heart.
A heavy heart. So often when we use the phrase a heavy heart it is accompanied by bad news. For example, “it is with a heavy heart that I tell you that this person has died.” The dictionary defines heavy heart this way: “in a sad or miserable state.” Undoubtedly, everyone has suffered from a heavy heart at some point in their lives. Hearts can become heavy for lots of reasons: grief, fear, worry, depression, pain, uncertainty, and a host of other experiences that can weigh us down. During these times the heaviness of our heart drains our living and leaves us wondering if we will ever feel good or happy again. Someone once said, “When the heart is heavy and the soul is down, the eyes can only speak the language of tears.”
Every day we meet individuals who may be bearing a heavy heart. Behind the smiles we see on people’s faces, there can be lives that are hurting and burdened by something. Sometimes that person is us. As people of faith we are called to relate to others in ways that help relieve that heaviness. In Proverbs 12:25 we read: “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Kindness towards others should be our response to everyone we meet. We are called to treat people with kindness so that through our kind words and acts God’s love can be shared. God is truly the only one who can lift up our hearts when the world weighs them down.
Jesus would say, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
The apostle Paul would write in his letter to the Ephesians, “Be kind and tender-hearted to one another.” (Ephesians 4:32) May we follow Paul’s advice and live with kind and tender hearts in a heavy-hearted world.