The Big Green Heart

Isaiah 61:1 says ‘He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted…’   –   a foreshadowing of Jesus’ mission on earth. Jesus wants to bind up our broken hearts.

What’s the problem with our hearts? Read on to find out how we use a simple tool to talk about our brokenness with students.

The Big Green Heart is a resource we have been using with secondary school students in schools across Hull. It’s gentle and effective teaching creates the opportunity to discover the power of forgiving. Let me tell you about it…

The idea originated in Tadcaster during a holiday club when Priscilla Smith wanted to give a physical demonstration about the anger and resentment we have in our hearts. Thus, the Green Heart was born.

The premise is that we store emotions in our heart. We demonstrate this by showing the student’s a big green heart and using black loo rolls with words on such as lost, embarrassed, unwanted, ugly or hurt. We stick them onto the green heart to show how our own hearts become full of unwanted rubbish.

We explain that these feelings are there because of what someone has said or done to us OR because of what someone hasn’t said or done.

We have the choice to hold onto these wounds and try to deal with them or to forgive the person who has hurt us.

Choosing to forgive sets us free from the burden of carrying the hurt around with us.  It doesn’t mean what happened was right, or that it should happen again. Neither does it mean you have to trust that person or have to tell them how they made you feel.

The effect of choosing to forgive can sometimes be immediate for students ‘I feel lighter’ they sometimes say or ‘I can breathe.’  For others it’s a process, a journey to forgiveness.

Choosing not to forgive is like drinking poison and expecting that other person to die. It doesn’t work and if we hold onto it our hearts can become bitter and full of hurt.

This simple yet profound tool is a gateway to understanding a student’s worries, fears and behaviour. Often helping them to feel more confident, more free and able to forgive in the future.

To find out more follow the link to The Big Green Heart website.



Label of Love