These last few posts have been challenging for me. To some of you it may have come as a subtle difference, but one that is worth pointing out directly. The goal of our relationship should not be conversion. Within the context of all four gospels, there is only one story (John 3) which can be argued as a true conversion attempt by Jesus. (Surprisingly that one did not end as we would expect it to and we do not hear about Nicodemus until after Jesus’s death.)
God is the one responsible for a changed heart.
This has been true since Exodus when it says that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh. Put it this way: we are tools that God uses. Consider what a hammer actually does on its own. Nothing. It only acts as a hammer when it is in the hand of a carpenter. So really the job of a hammer is to be available and usable.
Henri Nouwen spoke often of his experience in spending time with trapeze artists. He shared how there is a leaper and a catcher. It is the catcher’s job to catch the leaper. It is the leaper’s job to be caught. The leaper told him that if he attempts to be caught then a slight movement may well make the catcher’s job impossible. So the leaper leaps and trusts.
Develop relationships to be available to other people and for the work of God. Allow yourself to be used by God and trust that it is God who will make something useful of that relationship. Changing hearts is not your job, it’s God’s!
Without me God will not and without God I cannot. – Desmund Tutu