Open My Heart

Open My Heart,  © Jessica Sanborn, 2022

I tend to keep my dreaming small, inexpensive, and sensible. You avoid being a bother that way. You might avoid some disappointment too. But I wonder what I’ve missed along the way?

My youngest sister really wanted a horse when we were growing up. She wrote signs and posted them all over the house. She built a stable for her Breyer horse collection. She lobbied my parents for years for a horse. Guess who got a horse one day?

Me? I never even would have thought of asking. I wouldn’t have dared to want a horse.

In spiritual direction training, we learn to pay close attention to our desires, to the dreams of our hearts.
God meets us in our desires and is the source of our hearts’ deep longings. Pay attention.

A few falls ago, after a semester especially focused on this invitation to pay attention to deep desires, I walked across Randolph Street in St. Paul, and I was stopped in my tracks by a sign in the window of the Gypsy Moon shop. White words on a bright red background read: You Must Not Be Afraid to Dream a Little Bigger My Dear. It arrived like a tap on my shoulder and a whisper in my ear: This is for you.

A few months ago, as I combed through magazines for another collage, I found a picture with that sign in someone’s living room. I cut it out and saved it, assuming I would need it someday.

This spring, I found myself again confronted with my astonishment at the audacity of another person’s dreams and the depth of their wants. This astonishment felt like another invitation to name and own my own dreams. To dare to want.

I spent some time writing a history of my wants and desires. It was illuminating.

And I found myself praying:

I still need to unlearn the pattern of dreaming small and inexpensively and of only having sensible dreams. Do you want me to want audaciously? How do I even do that? What are the things I want deep down, but would never dream to ask for? Are you waiting to meet me there too? (Also, this feels tricky because I don’t think of you like a genie—granting wishes and parking spots. And the “name it and claim it” philosophy? Shudder.)

So how does this work, God? Wanting, hoping, dreaming audaciously? And trusting that I’ll meet you in the wanting, in the dreaming, in the asking? Not only in the receiving and the gifts that happen to arrive along the way.

Help me to want you, God. More than I want your gifts. Help me to open my heart ever wider that Your dreams might slip in.

I have 4 x 6 cards available for each of these images.They are available in packs of 5 for $10. You can choose which cards you would like in each pack. If you are interested in cards, feel free to let me know.