I stored it wrong.
It was because I wasn’t paying attention.
I took it off the counter and stuck it in the refrigerator. Once inside, I let it get shoved around.
Way in the back behind the milk and cream, in the coldest part of the refrigerator, the jar of sweetness my sister gave me for my birthday lay forgotten.
A nectar jar.
Brim-filled with the culmination of summer buzzing.
This day I was running, too, but I remembered at breakfast the gift hidden in the dark when the bread lay down toasted warm on the plate.
The waiting bread. The jar cold in my hand.
Lid twisted tight refused loosening.
I grasped hard and grunted low, the bread growing cold.
Not a turn, not a tweak. Sticky stuck honey gone hard.
All because I had put it in the wrong place.
The situation called for drastic measures. The nectar needed freeing so I grabbed one of those rubber discs that is supposed to provide the ultimate grip. It took a few times, my bearing down, palm burning red blotches, before the lid yielded and finally came off.
I plunged my knife into the jar only to hit solid.
Honey gone hard. Bread gone cold.
Jesus speaks: Just like your heart, beloved, when you put it in the wrong place.
A heart of flesh will turn to stone in the right conditions. The sweetness of a beating love heart, the softness toward the things of God, toward the things of others, goes hard when it is hidden away and forgotten.
A hard jealousy.
A hard pride.
Fifteen women showed up at my bible study. I must really be connecting with them.
A hard fear.
What if God doesn’t answer me? What if He leads me to a Job-like life?
A hard cynicism.
What do we expect from that kind of person? It’s just who they are and they are never going to change.
The enemy of my soul is a tight wad.
He never let’s go, never lets loose with mercy, compassion, love.
He is all about the immovable, frozen up things that keep a person bound. The enemy of my soul isn’t dancing about in the flames. He is more at home in a light-empty ice-encrusted lock down.
An All Consuming Fire.
He moves me into the light filled places and I soften.
I set the honey jar in front of the window after the knife did its work. In a matter of minutes the softening began and then the spilling.
Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.
A spring that spills. A honey pot that drips.
Nothing frozen here.
I am learning to keep my heart in the right place. In the light-filled presence of an All-Consuming Fire.
It is the only place for a hard busy-ness and a rigid to-do-ness to melt like wax. It is the only place for my heart of stone to become a heart of flesh.