Larger, Deeper, Wider

Living spiritually is more than living physically, intellectually, or emotionally. It embraces all that, but it is larger, deeper, and wider. It concerns the core of your humanity. It is possible to lead a very wholesome, emotionally rich, and ‘sensible’ life without being a spiritual person: that is, without knowledge, or personal experience of the terrain where the meaning and goal of our human existence are hidden. The spiritual life has to do with the HEART of existence. This is a good word. By heart I do not mean the seat of our feeling as opposed to the seat of our thoughts; I mean the center of our being, that place where we are most ourselves, where we are most human, where we are most real. ~ Henri Nouwen

I believe this to be both true and troublesome.  It’s true that the spiritual life has to do with the heart of existence and that the heart is where we are most real. There’s the trouble.

My friend Kari took this picture of a milk weed, past it’s prime. At least that’s what she thought she saw. It was later, in looking through her photos, that she saw the heart. The heart is so often hidden.

If we’re truly to live larger, deeper, wider; if we hope to be more than just good and decent it will take the One Who has made everything beautiful in its time and has set eternity in the hearts of men (Ecc. 3:11) to traverse the terrain of the heart that we hide from others, and the heart that is hidden, even from our own view.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

20 thoughts on “Larger, Deeper, Wider”

  1. Your posts continue to leave me without adequate words to express how they touch me. Thank you is going to have to suffice. Just multiply it by infinity. ❤

  2. wow, lots of wisdom here. I know that God had to dunk me good in what I thought at times to be unbearable pain before I began to see His hand, His purpose. My heart still plays ‘hide n seek’ but as cathy said, God is so gracious to reveal Himself and our hearts only in His good timing and as He gives us grace to receieve. I also know that several dear friends, represented here, were used by Him to help me know what grace looks like, and how I needed forgiveness as much as I needed to forgive.

    1. Linda – Hello dear friend. What a pleasant surprise to see your name pop up here.
      You have been a kind vessel of God’s grace in my life. I wish I’d learned more about being real before moving so far away. What interesting coffee times we might have had but you’re right, He does reveal Himself in His way, in His perfect timing!
      If I hadn’t been so intent on running from pain, I would have been a better companion in yours. Thank you for loving me anyway.
      ~ Debbie

  3. I have found that in recovery a few blessed individuals do find “the center of our being, that place where we are most ourselves, where we are most human, where we are most real”. Sadly, outside of recovery, I’ve met few people that are in touch with their center of being. I’m guessing that’s because it takes so much pain to be willing to find it. Even then, we have to be willing to die to self–no matter what happens. Pain is the great motivator in my life, anyway. As Cathy said, I know quite a few people who desire to get there and just can’t yet. His timing, indeed.

    1. Heidi – Just like with the Velveteen Rabbit, it takes a lot of brokenness and a lot of love. I resisted until I found the pain to be irresistible. If there’d been any other way, I would have chosen it. (of course, you know that already) 😀
      ~ Debbie

  4. Yes, the process is interesting and as much as we might try it seems it’s still up to God in the timing.
    Our heart that is even hidden from our view is very interesting. I’ve experienced this recently. I went through many many years truly believing I was giving God my thoughts, attitudes and heart only to find out how blinded I still was. I was very sincere. I sought out help and guidance to see the error of my ways, learn and change.

    I now see that my heart was hidden from my view. His timing is PERFECT. I know the impact of what He has recently shown me wouldn’t have been the same. Years ago I remember thinking “why would I want to share Christ with anyone, my life hasn’t changed that much since I given my life to Him”. Really I did! God knew my thoughts then. I was being honest with myself. I just didn’t “feel” the effect. I was different ,yes but…
    Sad to say… But over joyed to say …NOW I SEE.

    And how do I see… By God giving me the grace to stop resisting. By my life becoming so painful (snarky like the milkweed)
    I let go and fell into the pain. That is WHEN God showed me my heart. Both the truth of how Was going through life AND the beauty of who I am.

    But like the milkweed as it dies it is absolutely
    beautiful. Have you seen it. It bursts open with the most delicately silky fuzz which the seeds are connected to. Only to be scattered and bring new life.

  5. What Gaye said, I echo. The first part at least. You, dear Debbie, have a very unique and beautiful ministry. I have read somethings about the heart . . .how we can’t trust it, shouldn’t follow our hearts, should follow our hearts, they are good and they are wicked. But what you have shared is the most helpful and impacting yet. Thank you! 🙂 I can now take heart!
    God bless you as you live larger, deeper, wider for Him . . .and help us to, too!
    – the other deb

    1. Deb – How kind you are. When I started this blog it was with the intention of sharing the words and wisdom of others, with minimal commentary from me. 😉 I look forward to learning about living larger, deeper and wider with you!
      ~ Debbie

  6. oh debbie. i wish you could know deep in your heart how you are ministering to me. i just finished up my prayer time, devotion, whatever you want to call it. i prayed ephesions 3:18 over my family….and here you have expressed it so beautifully. thank you thaink you for sharing your heart with us.

    1. gaye – dear friend, you always pop in right when I need encouragement the most. I almost didn’t post this, thinking I hadn’t said anything but went ahead because I loved Kari’s picture and Nouwen’s words. I’m praying for you for your whole family.
      ~ Debbie

  7. I like the milkweed, btw … nature is beautiful … it follows course … without shame … it lives, flourishes … starts to look snarky and it dies: In front of all. mel

  8. OK … I ADMIT IT … i’m a screwball!!! 😉

    … just love the post.

    Quiet lives of desperation? Are those who do not know spirituality? Or do they simply not know, or need to know what true spirituality is? Skip it, they say in their ignorant bliss ?? …

    I think most people would chose to skim along the surface …

    How can philosophers be great without having known great despair?

    Do we envy great thinkers or pity them … or seek comfort from how far they have fallen into the abyss — where we can join them, — hoping to crawl out?

    STILL, i’m looking forward to the weekend!!!!

    Later, girl, peace, mel

    1. mel – I’m thinking we can only skim along the surface for so long until we inevitably sink. That’s where grace catches hold – and sometimes takes us deeper before bringing us up for air. 😀
      ~ Debbie

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