Am I feeding my heart? What am I feeding my heart? How often do I think about my input or output for that matter?
We feed our hearts all the time, and I’m not talking about edible food that doesn’t sustain, but the food that feeds and builds us and doesn’t rot away when left in the fridge for a week. The responses we have to situations and circumstances in our journey are birthed, developed and grown by what we feed ourselves with.
We are all feeding our hearts. I have zero doubt of this. I am, however, more invested in the sorts of things we are feeding into our time, our bodies and our minds, without realising this also becomes output in our actions, behaviours and the way we speak and act towards others, ourselves and God.
This artwork is exploring just that notion. The black veins, the ‘tributaries’, are smaller veins leading up to the heart where the negative influences we feed into ourselves, whether these are intentional or through unawareness or ignorance, gather. Individually the veins may seem small and insignificant in the bigger life picture, but these still flow into the larger veins and then out from the heart. As I reflected during the making of and on the completed Watercolour/gouache artwork, it made me think about my input and how it’s not all bad as this image suggests. I don’t think there would be many people where this would be true. However, whether they’re behaviours or thoughts, good or not so beneficial, and regardless of how subjective this list may be, it benefits me, and in turn others, to be aware and careful in my choices. The top part of the heart is feeding out in to the world; the negative influences are feeding out through these also.
The standard set for myself, and I’m sure this could be questioned by others who are better at this than I am, is not because I want to be better than anyone else. It’s because my output, though a work in progress, and life long, needs to be protected by being aware of and selective of my input so my responses to others are ones that encourage and build up, educate and train and not tear down and cause injury or even worse, cause another to stumble.
The apostle Paul says it plainly in Romans 7:21-25 “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
I am thankful that God’s mercies are new everyday.