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Letting the Truth Fall In

I recently heard a story of a Jewish student who went to his rabbi and asked, “Why does the Torah say to write God’s word on our hearts? Why does it not say to write God’s word in our hearts?”  

The rabbi replied, “Because God knows that our hearts are closed, so we lay the words upon our hearts. When our hearts break, the words fall in.”  

This has prompted me to think about what happens when my heart breaks. Do I allow God’s word in, or do I lean into temporary patches, ignoring or soothing my pain on my own? 

Recently, I experienced heartache as the news of Indigenous children’s graves in Kamloops ripped across the Canadian media landscape. It is easy to throw up a Facebook post of lament, or to offer a prayer in church, but what would it look like to allow God’s word to fall into my heart and reshape it into a better heart?  

One way for me to do this is to go beyond headlines, into deep work that wrestles with how our churches can become places of belonging and embrace God’s call to reconciliation. And this is what the appropriately named Hearts Exchanged program is designed to do. 

Participants are guided through an eight-month journey, and walk together with a community to learn from Indigenous perspectives on history and how to move forward together in a good way. A commitment to engage and learn deeply can help the truths about justice found in scripture sink into practice in our lives.  

This year, cohorts are taking place in every CRC Classis in Canada. As individuals, and the church, we can learn to move forward with tender hearts, not allowing wrongs to be set aside but rather creating a space for heart transformation. This robust program goes beyond a one-time event or expression of regret, and moves towards true justice and reconciliation as a shared spiritual journey. You can support this at crcna.org/HealHearts

  • Victoria Veenstra is the Justice Communications Team Coordinator for the CRC, working for the Centre for Public Dialogue, Office of Social Justice, and Canadian Indigenous Ministries Committee.

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