Harden Not Your Hearts


I was thinking a little today about a conversation I had with my physiotherapist a while back. He asked if people drove me crazy with all their whining and little problems.  I understood what he meant but the reality is that mostly I comprehend that the molehills made into mountains are what brings people meaning.  Today’s Psalm is 95 — if today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts. I am practicing not hardening my heart.  Some times that grumpy attitude does irritate me and it takes me a few days to let it go.

I wonder if the angels who intervene on our behalf laugh at our prayers. I am grateful that they do not harden their hearts to our perceived needs. My prayer list grows ever longer.  The brother of a friend who has a brain tumour, the young child of a friend who has been a blessing to me who also has a brain tumour, an older friend who is struggling, my father whose illness is not yet stable, my mother who has issues of her own, a young woman working the streets who is a drug addict, a friend who is struggling with severe depression, and so many other issues that are heartbreaking. Yes, the trivial pieces of other people’s lives make me pause and hope that they are never given more because they seem unable to handle such a little upset. However the truth of the matter is we do not really know what the other person is going through.

Today I prayed the Luminous Mysteries for the child of my friend who was celebrating her birthday and wondered how she was managing her illness and treatment.  As I went through each mystery, I had visions of healing Light permeating her…us….at the Baptism of Christ, at the Eucharist, at Adoration, at the Transfiguration.  The rosary came to me late in life.  I never really appreciated it until a few years back. However, it does allow us, as the Psalm recommends to kneel before the Lord our Maker and worship. I felt that today.  I am glad that I did not shut my heart to this particular prayer practice.

I pray that I may not lose patience when people gripe about things that are not of significance in my eyes.  We really should not compare our sorrows.  In a recent phone conversation, the person on the other end began to cry, overcome with emotion, all the while apologizing for what seemed to be nothing compared to my cross.  I wanted to reach through the phone and hug that person, so distraught.  Somehow God used me to break open a mystery with that person. I believed we were standing on sacred ground. I pray that God will work in that person to restore them to wholeness. I have said it before and I will say it again.  We are all broken. I would not have guessed that this person had been carrying so much pain around. Most of us that broken do not lay down the mask long enough for anyone else to glimpse the inner destruction.

In our brokenness we can harden our hearts and remain shattered or we can work through the pain to the other side. Each of us must make that choice ourselves.  Time and again I have seen people remain in the same uncomfortable but known pattern….myself included, until I figure out that I need to change something in order for a different ending.  I refuse to harden my heart.  I place my trust in Love, even when I am disappointed, frustrated, irritated, and out of patience.  I may stumble but I would rather pick myself up and say that is not quite the way I want to go and decide again that Goodness still rules the universe. I do not know any other way to do it.  I do not like to be cynical and negative. I believe in Hope. I know Love wins.   Those who look at the glass with only a bit of water in it and say it is gonna spill anyway are not the people I admire in life.  I cannot only hang out with the half-full people though. I have to learn to love the half-empty and embrace the ones who pour out the contents with disregard.  I cannot harden my heart.

My physiotherapist is a phenomenal human being. I know that he understands that I am operating under a very different perspective lately. I am by no means perfect but I do hope that when my heart closes even briefly to someone in a perceived need that I might rethink what I am called to do.  If the angels can do it, then I should at least try.



Reflection Questions

What do you do when someone else’s molehill is presented as a mountain?

How do you keep your heart open and malleable, not hard?


Lord, teach me to meet each one where they are–even if their issues seem small and manageable compared to mine.  May my words be encouraging even when I am too tired to feel compassionate.  May my angels accept my prayers with delight and shed Light on each one. Amen.

About sstyves

A Canadian prairie girl rooted in Ignatian spirituality, I seek God in all things. Whether I catch a glimpse of the Divine and delight in its presence in nature or in the beauty of an encounter with someone, I am ever so grateful that I can recognize the Creator. I greet each new day with hope and happiness, expecting blessings and miracles because I am created to praise, love and serve God. This blog is one way of realizing that through my writings, prayers, and photography. To God be the Glory!
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4 Responses to Harden Not Your Hearts

  1. Celeste says:

    “I cannot only hang out with the half-full people though. I have to learn to love the half-empty and embrace the ones who pour out the contents with disregard. I cannot harden my heart.”

    Wow…for some reason those words really hit me……
    I love these blog entries….I always read them and they make me stop and think.
    Thank you for the reminder today!
    Love you lots!


  2. sstyves says:

    Thanks, Celeste! I’m working hard to love the “catastrophizers” and Negative Nellies right now. I do not like who I am around them and need to check my own attitude. The truth is that whatever sorrow is given is real to that person. Sometimes, we do not even realize what the other person is really carrying as was the case with the phone call – that person is outwardly not someone who appears to struggle much. That was a good reminder for me too. Much love back to you. Xo 💜

  3. Karen Wheadon says:


    As many of your posts do…this post also spoke to me today, especially your message…we really dont know what another person is going through. Sometimes their circumstances may seem trivial as compared to someone who is dying, but when someone such as my own son has said, “I’m enduring life, not living it” , we know there is a lot of pain and sadness there. Ive witnessed the disappointment, frustration, lack of patience and loss of hope, yet I continue to pray that Ben receive strength to keep on pushing forward. Anyway, he had his neurologist appointment this past week. She is young and inexperienced according to ben, but did give a few suggestions he’s goi ng to try such as keeping a thorough headache chart. He’s also going to try an antidepressant for a month despite how they make him feel worst. She also suggested steroid injections in to nerve endings in his head…he’s hesitant on that one right now as he wants to wait until ent appointment to see about throat issue. He’s noticed a pattern when throat pain and lump is worst, so are headaches. His ent appointment is Jan 30. Next neurologist appointment will be after MRI in March. So that’s where it’s at right now. I can only pray that his heart doesn’t become too hardened with the longevity of all of this. I know Ben is amongst all of those whom you pray for and I’m grateful.

    Love, Karen💜

    Sent from my iPad


    • sstyves says:

      Yes, I am sure B presents as well and therefore people probably misjudge him all the time unfortunately. Thanks for the update on the appts. I had been wondering if it had gone well with the neurologist. I will continue to pray for him. xo

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