Map of Chiapas
Grandmother & Child
People from a mountain village
What does your heart say?
Visiting Chiapas, MexicoThis January 9-18 I joined a trip to Chiapas, Mexico. The trip was a collaborative effort with IM Missionaries Keith and Debbie Meyers and the ABC of the Rocky Mountains. Our purpose was to visit and encourage the indigenous pastors and leaders in rural churches. We focused on the southern part of the state and the churches that were part of CICEM, a training program for the indigenous pastors. In eight days we visited 10 rural churches encompassing three language groups, and we also visited students at the seminary in San Cristobal. The treacherous mountain roads nearly tore the back bumper off Keith’s van! I was there to listen for how God’s Spirit might desire to intertwine our lives in Christ.
What Does Your Heart Say?At the seminary I sat down with a few of the students. Two of them spoke about the spirituality of their indigenous people. They shared that their essential concept of faith is “believing with the heart and being led by it.” They said that in the morning when their people greet each other they ask, “Bin xi (chi) ja wotan…what does your heart say?”
Living from the HeartAs I listened, I began to understand that these are a people oriented to living from the heart. Each day begins anew with listening to the deep stirrings of what your heart wants to say. A spiritual listening that welcomes what God desires to say to your heart, and through your heart. “What does your heart say?” invites integration and grounding in the heart – the place where listening and knowing, believing and living all come together. It’s where God and your true self know each other. It is where these people find connection with God, each other, and the land.
Becoming Heart-CenteredThe question stuck with me as the trip continued, and is still lingering. It is not an isolated idea of the indigenous people in Chiapas, Mexico. This heart question touches deep roots in our Christian heritage. Within the Biblical and Hebrew tradition the heart is the most important organ in the body. It is the center of being, believing, thinking, and living. I have begun to understand why the Spirit wanted this question to brood in me for so long. It is the question of our new role as regional missionaries. It is a question that touches a deep but rising longing in churches and individuals we have listened to all across the country, and now, in other countries. A question that nudges us to become aware of what we have lost, and the world is losing, through technology, constant motion, and rationalism. It is a question that invites us to become a heart centered, God-listening people again. Jesus said all of the law and the prophets hang on loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving neighbor. (Mark 12)
Are You Listening?Isn’t it so like God to take me bouncing through the stunning hills of Chiapas to a quiet indigenous people to hear? God said, "David, are you listening? This is what I want your heart to say. This is my longing: I want my people to listen with and speak from their hearts again. I long for them to become grounded and integrated in their hearts with me."
Are you listening? “What does your heart long to say?”