Posts Tagged "God"

What does it mean for Jesus to live in my heart?

What does it mean for Jesus to live in my heart?

By on Oct 28, 2013 in Blog |

I must admit, I can’t remember how old I was but as folk law often dictates, I remember where I was; sat on the floor in my youth leaders’ house in Liverpool. Looking back, I’m not exactly sure what they were thinking, showing this film to us – but what I saw that night helped crystallize some ideas which came to define my faith in my teenage years. Prisoner Andy Dufresne abuses his privileged access to the wardens’ quarters to play Mozart over the public address system in Shawshank prison where he is serving life for a murder he didn’t commit. The scene sweeps over a vast exercise yard and the inmates stare longingly upwards at the source of this unexpected female voice as her presence resounds throughout the prison. Upon rejoining his friends after his punishment for this stunt, Andy explains that he does not regret his actions and says, “that’s the beauty of music … they can’t get that from you”. He continues, “there’s something inside that they can’t get to … they can’t touch … it’s yours.” I, like many other Christians, made the instant connection between the way Andy felt about the transcendent beauty of the music he connected with and the idea of the transcendent God who lives inside my heart. It fitted beautifully with the idea of God as an internal, faithful companion, a kind of talisman, a good angel who allows beauty to dwell inside me. Somehow I, like Andy, would be able to resist the limiting patterns, places, authorities and injustices of the world and get ultimate justice for myself, if only I could train myself to hold onto, leverage this inner God who no-one else could get to or take from me. But, returning to the movie (*spoiler alert*), when Andy doesn’t emerge from his cell at the proper time one morning, it becomes clear that it is not this musical experience or any other inner meditation which has led to his freedom. His circumstances have been changed by his nightly ritual of digging through his cell wall and emptying it out onto the exercise yard. For years. Just before he leaves, he puts words to this. “I guess it...

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