A Summary of "The Enchanted Heart"
Rev. Peggy explored the word enchantment as a feeling of great liking for something wonderful and unusual. Referring to the quote of Henry Louis Mencken, "An enchanted life has many moments when the heart is overwhelmed with beauty ..." she then went on to identify captivating events like a falling star, a symphony or a brilliant sunset.
From Celtic mysticism, "the enchanted heart is infused with song," she referred to the over 1000 references to the heart in scripture - even it being the seat of life. "The heart is a metaphor for the true or authentic self, the self in which God's love resides and when our hearts are enchanted this divine love shines forth and illuminates life." She asked us to consider the delight of children in their curiosity being capitivated by "a butterfly, a mud puddle, a dandelion..." With their "soft hearts" they embrace people and experiences with "genuine love and openness." (During Faith Chat, little Jonah peeked out from under the communion table!)
Then life's events and circumstances begin to challenge our open-heartedness and we sometimes feel neglected and unloved. We close our hearts and, as we age, our hearts become hardened. Disenchantment sets in. How can our hearts be softened?
At this time, the Angel Voices sang, "How can I keep Singing?" and Margie Oakander read scriptures that refer to our light within. Rev. Peggy reminded us of Jesus' saying that we all have divine light within and that our light shines only from a soft heart. M. Borg referred to a metaphor of our hearts being like an egg whose shell must be broken to let life within to live.
"Albert Schweitzer said, 'In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being and our inner spirit is rekindled.'" Rev. Peggy went on to remind us that Jesus rekindled the inner spirit and many people who encountered him were those whose inner fire had gone out. He rekindled the fire in others because he lived with an open heart out of which God's love flowed. "Jesus embodied the radically amazing advance in consciousness that enabled humankind to respond fully and completely to the radiant love of the divine." (Judy Cannato)
God's love in just, healing, captivating and renewing. Fear is cast out by love. Practising love attracts love but it requires time and discipline. Only love casts out fear: hatred, racism, blaming and shaming do not cast out fear. Rev. Peggy asked us to take seriously God's admonition to love one another, letting God's love light shine. "When hearts are soft, we see the goodness of humanity." Quoting Judy Cannato again, Rev. Peggy concluded with these words, "Be a spark-thrower, send up flares, be fierce with God's fire," and encouraged us to be fierce with God's love and each day not to move backwards in fear but to move forward with love and to let this inner light of love illuminate our lives, turning hard hearts into soft hearts along the way. May this be so for us all."