The video at the beginning of this post is from one of my favorite bands I’ve discovered in the last few months. Mumford and Sons are from England and play a country/bluegrass type of fusion music. But this song “Roll Away Your Stone” has been on a constant loop in my office lately.
This morning while working on my life journal I read Ezekiel 36:26, “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh.” NRSV. I thought it was poignant juxtaposition with the opening lines of this song, “Roll away your stone I’ll roll away mine/ Together we can see what we will find/ Don’t leave me along at this time/ For I am afraid what I will discover inside.”
While the song speaks to another person, there is an important idea of community between the two people. But these lyrics also resonated with the idea of God helping us by removing our hardened hearts and placing the new one within us. Also the idea of what we find when we finally have a soft, warm, beating heart; the idea of being fully alive and feeling the pain of the world around us.
I have written and spoken a great deal about the ugliness, pain, and hurt we see in the world around us. I personally get to the point, quite often, that when I see all of the things around me that fill me with pain I return to my heart of stone. It is so much easier to not empathize or truly see those around us. There is so much pain around us, and many times it is easier to just shut down than to truly deal with the world around us.
But God is calling us to something more, something vastly different. We are not to be desensitized to the world around us, much like I think TV news and the media cause us to be; because, they sensationalize and play upon the bad news of the world around us. If we were to truly hurt for all of the pain we see around we would be paralyzed and unable to truly work for any good.
But that is not why God promises to give us His spirit and the heart of flesh. God promises this because without truly seeing the world around us as His world that we are trying to bring the Kingdom of God to, then we are not working for the Kingdom. We have to switch our point of view, we have to take the pain we see and work for transformation. We have to work for transformation of not only our own hearts, but also the transformation of the pain we see in the world around us.