Sunday, June 6, 2010

Heart's Desire

I was just driving back from Penhold and on the radio was Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe. I caught the tail end of the show: he was sharing anecdotes of significant aspects of his life growing up in Montreal. The program ended with Reid Jamieson - accompanied on the piano by the incomparable John Sheard, Stuart's musical director - interpreting my favourite Beatles' song, "In My Life." Give it a listen: John Sheard is a genius and consistently one of the best parts of Vinyl Cafe.

The story that caught my ear was the one involving the girl in the green dress. Stuart was in the tenth grade of an all-boys school. He had bought himself a ticket for the dance, but couldn't muster the courage to ask any girl to be his date. He told his Dad, who was driving him, that he was meeting his date at the school. His plan was to go down the road a bit to a community dance being held the same evening, and ask some girl he would meet there to go to his school dance with him.

He quickly realized this was more daunting than he had imagined: it seemed that all the girls were clad in jeans; and, of course, he couldn't possibly take a jeans-wearing girl to his semi-formal school dance!

Almost all the girls - one girl had worn a dress. Stuart waited till there was a slow dance, and then he asked her if she would accompany him to his school dance.

Surprisingly, she agreed.

He walked her home after the dance. He wondered bemusedly if this would be the night ... the night his 16-year-old self would get kissed for the first time. "It was not," he stated succinctly, wryly.

He doesn't remember her name. He did remember that she wore a green dress. And, looking back, he realized that if he had just been open with her, she most likely would have kissed him goodnight. He also knew that if he had told his Dad or his best friend that he was dateless and in a bind, they would have stepped up and helped him out. His friend Mike, Stuart recalled, had even tried to set him up with someone.

But - and this is what reverberated with me - Stuart admitted, "I was too busy protecting my vulnerability ... If I just spoke the truth, I could have had my heart's desire."

And as I heard those words spoken by Stuart, my mind flashed immediately to the words of David, poet-king and author of Psalm 37: "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

This is one of the verses I have struggled with for years. Delighting myself in God sounds really nice, with certainly a lovely outcome; but how does that translate in day-to-day living?

And it's come to me today: By speaking the truth.

These days we often hear the phrase speaking truth into - a life, or a situation. Yet as a follower of God, my responsibility is to delight in Him, which would require me to seek out and to live truth - from and before God, with myself, with all with whom I have to deal - at all times. It's not a faucet that can be turned on and off when the situation appears to demand it. It's a continuous, steady stream that will flow ultimately into my heart's desire if I follow its course.

But how do I know what my heart's true desire is? I've had many moments through the years where I thought that for sure this time I had discovered the desire of my heart. The TH is one of them.

As I pulled off Highway 21 into Three Hills, it came to me that if I can speak truth - if I can face truth - unflinchingly at every turn, the truth will set me free to recognize what it is I truly long for. What that is will be the ultimate desire of my heart. And I will then be ready to welcome it.


  1. I have been reading your blog for a while now and I enjoy it so much- I just had to let you know! This post especially really resonated with some things I have been thinking about of late. I am living in Mozambique at present, and recently a short term team from Prairie came out...and brought me a jar of Tea House tea! It has been a wonderful comfort and blessing. Can't wait until the next time I am sitting in the TH enjoying scones and tea :O)

  2. Thank you for letting me know! Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually reads this stuff ... and then I think that if nothing else, the exercise of formulating my thoughts is good for me.

    Blessings shooting to you in Mozambique; I wish I could visit you too! Tea and scones and the little table we call Hidden Valley are waiting for you when you return!


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