This post was contributed by Kevin Schrapel, and is the author’s personal opinion.
“But that’s mostly rocks,” I exclaimed as I was shown the building material a new friend was using to construct his family’s new clay brick home, with pride and enthusiasm and love.
With a knowing smile, he handed me a rock.
As it lay in my hand, I thought, “it feels like a rock, it looks like a rock” … you know the rest.
He then instructed: “Add some water from that bucket and work it with your fingers”.
With a feeling of being set up, I did as instructed.
To my amazement, the rock became soft and malleable.
Using just my fingers, I could shape and form what had once been hard and unyielding.
Ah, if only the flintiness, the sharp edges, of society could be so easily softened, re-moulded into more gentleness, more care, forgiveness and concern; re-moulded, re-shaped to build stronger, more lasting relationships that would withstand disagreements’ buffeting winds.
Relationships could be gently but firmly fashioned into forms that would shield from the torrents of ridicule and scorn which wear away the features of who we are meant to be.
What if I – at times judgemental, critical, unloving – could be changed?
What would it take?
Probably a bulldozer and a trench digger.
Then from somewhere in my mind came these words: “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh”.
Those were words from thousands of years ago – from Ezekiel 16:26 – placed into the heart and mind of a man of God, from a God of love.
This God of big love sees small acts which demonstrate a new, re-moulded attitude of love in action: a smile for the harassed parent of a toddler in a supermarket aisle, a pause which allows an older person to cross the road without feeling rushed, a hand on the shoulder of someone feeling down, a word that makes someone feel special.
How do I get this new heart?
Look again at what God said: “I will give you a new heart”.
It cannot be bought.
It cannot be earned.
Just as the rock in my hand had to receive the water to be changed, it is only God’s great love that can change you and me.
It is only his love for us and our acceptance of his love that can mould us into someone who God can use to bring more love, peace and joy to our friends, to our neighbours, to people I may not like and who may not like me, and into our community.
He also said through his son, Jesus, in John 15:12-13: “My command is this: love each other as I have loved you”.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Still not sure?
Talk to him about your questions.
God bless and look at rocks differently.
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