When it was night time in the soul of Israel, the exiles had only one recourse, according to the prophets: Return to the heart.
“Make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.” (Ezekiel 18:31)
“Remember this, return to your heart, remember things long past.” (Isaiah 46:8-9)
It’s a decision we all may have to make one day in our own crisis of spirit. “It is from the heart and the heart alone that life can begin again,” says People of God in the Night author Eloi LeClerc. “When everything is lost, the heart remains.”
What does it mean to return to the heart? To get in touch with our deepest being. To reawaken our truest self from our past life.
The process starts with realization of our utter dependence on God. We are stripped of all illusion that we are in control of our lives. Everything we are, everything we have, everything we achieve is through God. This may involve deep psychic pain, like the deportees from Judah—or an extended period of wandering, like the Israelites in the desert. Humbled and vulnerable, we begin to develop trust and rediscover hope.
We roll back our memories to a time of innocence, wonderment, and a yearning toward something greater. We open ourselves to the unknown. Our conscience awakens and we respond to God’s call with youthful fervor. Within our hearts, our deepest reality, we choose to follow where God leads and rediscover ourselves in the process.