I long for a pure heart, but can find myself struggling against despair, resentment, and other unwholesome things. Today I find myself considering the hearts of other people in the Bible. Because it is not entirely appropriate that I should compare myself to Jesus, I find myself considering mere mortals like myself. I find myself considering Mary, Jesus' mother.
I think her heart was exceptionally pure because of what she spoke to her relative Elizabeth:
My soul magnifies the Lord
My spirit rejoices in God my Savior
For he has seen regarded the low estate of his handmaiden:
For all generations to come shall call me blessed.
He that is mighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
His mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their seats
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
And has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy.
As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.
Mary's pure heart rejoices in God, rejoices in justice, takes strength from God's blessings -- and takes the defeat of the wicked for granted. Her worldview hinges on God's faithfulness: his mercy, his strength, his justice, his enduring promises. She views herself as God's servant; this is not the first time she has said as much. And in a few more months when Jesus is born, some shepherds come with a tale of angels announcing the birth. Mary's pure heart treasures the things that God has done, and ponders the things that God has accomplished.
Mary does not speak of it as an incomplete or partial victory in an occupied territory under the Roman Empire, where the tax collectors are greedy and the judges are corrupt and the other people take all the room at the inn, leaving her to give birth in a stable. The angels are not too proud to rejoice; neither is Mary. She does not invite the darkness or mislabel it as "realism" to take the shine off every victory. She takes for granted that the days are numbered for the proud and the mighty who leave others hungry. She believes that what lasts from generation to generation is God's mercy, along with the blessings that God has given the world.