As Jesse and his sons came to the sacrifice,
Samuel looked at Eliab and thought,
“Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.”
But the LORD said to Samuel:
“Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature,
because I have rejected him.
Not as man sees does God see,
because man sees the appearance
but the LORD looks into the heart.” – 1 Sam 16
According to the description David was hot, his brothers were as well. Being good looking was clearly not the top criteria as The Lord says to Samuel, “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.”
And we get to the coeur of the matter, the heart, the essence. What made David ‘the one’ in God’s eyes we’ll know that at the right moment. For now we know with absolute certainty that it wasn’t his appearance. I can imagine each son standing before the prophet, some thinking “Pick Me! Pick Me!”, others thinking “No! No!” and some thinking, “Well maybe?! I hope so, but maybe not. Being king would be cool, wine, women, song, soldiers mine all mine! but do I really want that? Hmm”. I can also imagine them all being surprised that the kid who gets picked is the youngest. All of them thinking, “what the ever loving heck is God thinking picking this kid!” “What does he know about leading?” “This makes no sense, I’d be a better leader!”
And still God knows the heart.
Waking up there’s often a song flitting through my head. This morning it is Don Francisco’s Adam! Where are you? A little odd since I haven’t heard this song for years. I’ve always loved the way that God’s passion is heard when calling out for Adam (and Eve.) There is a longing heart here. When God comes to the Garden he already knows what happened, and yet, his longing Heart calls out. I’ve always imagined this is some kind of scolding, angry God who longed to punish these children who turned away from him with such great ease.
This morning though there’s something different. God wants Adam and Eve, and all of us, to live in that Garden of Eden, that place of great beauty. There is work for them, but it is work that is life-giving and provides joy, and sustenance. There is direct, loving communication with God. Adam and Eve BOTH turn away from God. This isn’t simply Adam’s sin, Adam’s responsibility, they both bear the responsibility for eating the fruit, tasty as it was. Somewhere, their hearts hardened toward God, they turned away,
“Why are you so hard hearted?!”
That’s part of what’s running through my head. And in some way God is asking me why I’m so hard hearted. Why am I holding onto something? Last week listening to the radio the host spoke of her Lenten prayer, “God I’m not ready to forgive in this situation.” Her conversation moved forward speaking of how saying this prayer is a moment of honesty. To say this spoke deeply to my heart rates highly with the understatements of life.
Just as God chose David, with all his faults, to be King of Israel; just as God longed for Adam and Eve to be in right relationship with him; God wants the same for us with himself, and with others. This takes work. Sometimes the work is easy, natural, and oh so delightful. We all have natural affinities. Sometimes the work is complicated in ways that mingle the mind, the heart, memory.
One of the quilts in my trunk show is the first really big quilt I ever made. Fabrics were purchased across the country, over time the quilt has started coming apart. Some of the fabrics are already disintegrating. In a way it’s gutting because the quilt is less than 20 years complete. In a way it’s a testament to purchasing good quality fabric. And it’s the hallmark of being a new quilter. I love this quilt for the way it is because it is at its core a beginning for me. A tale to tell, a tale of love, a tale of learning, a tale of humility, a tale of beauty, strength and a tale of a moment when I simply kept going. This was the quilt that I the rotary cutter and I met in a most unbecoming way. How it took nearly everything I have to get started quilting again. The quilt whispered sweet nothings to me, I picked up the rotary cutter, mat, ruler, machine and moved forward to complete the quilt.
This Quilters Heart is taking action to follow God’s heart. Wherever that may lead.