On the Journey to Having a Heart of Flesh
I experience my heart of flesh
as both limited and unbound.
This perception may be an indication of personal integration and maturity;
I am sure it is also due to increased openness to the other
and the mysterium of life.
Like every other person,
I have physical,
and emotional limitations.
My almost-sixty-five-year-old heart of flesh
puts limits on the activities I can do.
To push beyond these very real limits
is to choose adolescence over adulthood.
within my heart of flesh
there now resides an unbound spirit of optimism,
and spiritual hunger.
Some of my heart's chambers, formerly closed -
probably because of fear and no small amount of personal doubt -
are now open and almost demanding nourishment.
My heart of flesh is reminding me -
that I have a finite time in this earthly realm
and that God
and those who truly love me
for my own sake,
to live more fully.
Judaism teaches me that after death I will be asked:
"Why didn't you live more fully and intentionally?
Why were you not more you?"
I have reached a stage of life in which I am giving to others
from a heart of wisdom;
yet I see myself not as wise
but as enlightened by those
who have walked hand in hand with me on this journey.
Physical limitations have encouraged me
to enhance other modes of sense and self
the way a blind person sharpens her senses of hearing and touch.
Some of the vessels within my heart of flesh are worn and tattered.
But they have developed new offshoots
and are enriching my life at every moment.
Where blood no longer flows,
God's spirit now oxygenates and liberates.
Rabbi Albert M Lewis