Hearts of Flesh is the first book by Christian spirituality writer, Fred Pruitt. This book is a little bit of everything. Sometimes it is prayer. Sometimes it is experienced instruction. Sometimes nothing is sacred and sometimes we are smacked on the head with the fact that everything is sacred.
Fred Pruitt weaves bits and pieces of his personal story with a Christian spirituality that is living and just a touch offbeat. But it is also solidly down-to-earth and contemporary in outlook while hearkening back to the most ancient foundations.
Hearts of Flesh is about having a heart that above all, seeks to love. This book is not about being religious, or about being churchy, but simply about being human. God didn’t come to earth just to invite us to meet Him once a week in a building, but to show us that through the Son we are His living building everywhere we are. That means that God has filled up our humanity with Himself, so that our regular human lives, whether spent in traffic, shopping at the mall, at the workplace or home at night with the family, is where God is, is where Life is, is where the “Incarnation” is. Instead of God expecting us to work and work to somehow become “Divine” or “Christ-like,” He has come to us exactly where we are, as we are, to live in us so that His Divinity may be seen through the commonness of our humanity – in our “hearts of flesh.”
Someone once said that the first time his son’s toy truck broke he realized that his son was beginning his acquaintance with the Man of Sorrows. It made him want to tear his heart out, but at the same time he knew it had to be, and that the end result would one day be overwhelming joy.
Paul said that the sign of Christ in us, rather than the rote keeping of the Law, is that we would have hearts of flesh, instead of hearts of stone.
A heart of flesh has known what it means to have no hope. It has wallowed in its aloneness and fear of the dark. It knows disappointment, failure and barrenness, and more than once perhaps has wished it could die and be no more.
But this heart has also found light in the furthest parts of darkness, unexpectedly, seemingly undeserved, but nonetheless certain, solid and perceptible in the substance of faith. In its rising the heat of that light melts the cold stone of our hearts, changing them to soft, innocent, guile-free hearts of warm, loving flesh.
Then -- we have become flesh instead of stone, and our hearts, through joy and sorrow, have been penetrated through and through with love that spills out of us like water.