I have a few friends that will openly admit that they spend most of their tv time stuck on Hallmark movies. I honestly feel I might just be more hooked than anyone I know.
This morning, I sat and watched ‘On the Twelfth Day of Christmas.’ I’ve seen it about four times before, but I still cried. I wept like a child being sent to bed early. I won’t ruin the plot for you by recapping the storyline.
I just want to explain, why I am sitting around watching and rewatching Hallmark movies.
Hallmark movies warm my heart. The emotional storylines melt the cold protective barrier I create to keep people with ill intent out, and sometimes people who love me too.
Hallmark movies make me remember the traditions, past and present family and friends, give me hope and inspire me.
A thousand years ago, I had a broken heart. It was chipped, full of despair, compacted with negativity and tough like Anthracite, a hard compact coal.
I went through life like a mechanic fixing each break in my life as it happened. I was reacting to life, not living it.
Then one day, I went to bible study. I was there physically, but my heart remained elsewhere. Every start of bible study, the assistant minster would begin the lesson with prayer and she would add, “Please warm JCV’s hardened heart.”
I was young and unwise. I didn’t understand what the minster wanted from me. I was there in class. I attended church almost every Sunday. I volunteered. I was not hanging out at bars or causing fights, so why was she embarrassing me?
My heart did not warm up overnight like Scrooge’s in the Christmas Carol. Instead, it took hours of sappy movies, hugs, love from a dog, laughs with family and friends, crazy dancing, bible readings, and prayer to melt my frozen heart.
The Bible mentions the hardened heart many times. It warns us of the hardened heart in the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 1 https://www.biblica.com/bible/niv/matthew/13/
The Parable of the Sower
1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
As we move through this holiday season, take time to care for your heart. Whatever suffrage, breaks, setbacks or losses you have gone through you too can melt your own hardened heart it just starts with one prayer.