I think a good way to describe me is scrambled. Not like eggs, but yet again, maybe like that. I find myself being thrown into so many different places, but actually only small pieces of myself. A little segment to this friendship, a little segment to this relationship, a small portion to this assignment and another even smaller portion to this event. I find my work and my efforts halfhearted, or maybe even a fourth-hearted. Each task sucks out a sliver of me, which means nothing really has all of me. I feel spread out, but spread only into these little pieces. Unfortunately, they do not seem to accurately represent who I am as a whole.
What brought me to this eye opening and heart wrenching understanding of myself was gaining a clearer understanding of who Someone else was. I found myself eye to eye, breath to breath, and heart to heart with the very One who embodies consistency and faithfulness. He puts His everything into what He does, and nothing He ever commits Himself to is partial, halfhearted, or mediocre. Yahweh is one who is completely, and thoroughly wholehearted.
A few months ago, I began doing some calligraphy with ink. One of my favorite things is to make cards with certain Swedish sayings or verses on them. The words seem so foreign, yet perfectly normal all at the same time, and I cannot help but artistically write them out. Unfortunately, I do not know much Swedish without seeking aid from the internet or my Farfar (Swedish for grandfather), but while I was aimlessly looking on the internet, I found one of the most profound yet beautifully ornate words. The word was “helhjärtad,” translated into english as “wholehearted.” Now, I am sure this word sounds quite ordinary to you, and you probably wonder why I found this Swedish word so profound and perfect for my card making…
Well, the reason why I clung to this little word was because it is so often un-useful for us today. The reason we find it un-useful is because there is no one who seems to quite fulfill its high demands of reliability. The word wholehearted or “helhjärtad” carries with it a rare commitment, one that we humans do not comprehend nor know how to live up to. Even the word itself is connected and whole. I found this out the hard way, as I wrote this entire article with “whole” and “hearted” as separate words, only to find they are one! We do not know what it means to be “helhjärtad,” because we are so busy being scrambled, so busy being busy, so busy being needed. But are we actually really needed? That is for another article on another day…but the question truly is, do we ever do anything wholeheartedly?
All this to say, the term wholehearted is hardly ever used in our culture today because it would be extremely difficult to describe someone in our society as wholehearted. The more I try and tackle this concept within my own mind, the more I am brought to the feet of the only One who is wholehearted in all of His ways. He does not partially heal, slightly remove sin, or somewhat hear His people when they call to Him. He is 100% attentive and 100% involved. He is a “helhjärtad” God, wholehearted in word and deed. Totally wholehearted in the way he not only approaches, but also interacts with scrambled old me.
words by Kylie Hultgren and photo by Hannah Jin