As a child I saw the world as a place filled with hope, love and wonder. Somewhere along the way my view of the world changed. My heart slowly began to turn to stone toward others. It may have been the result of seeing too many news stories about the evils of people. It may have been the result of too many ugly experiences. It might have been the result of the selfishness of my own heart taking over.
I am not sure how it happened. I am not really sure when it happened. But in retrospect I can see that by the time I graduated high school my heart had grown hard toward other people and the struggles they faced. Most of my world was really just about me. I thought I had the world figured out and I didn’t understand why other people had not come to the same conclusions at which I had arrived. I now picture myself like a stone with jagged edges that could be used only to hurt others.
Through the years God has taken me on a journey to soften my heart and smooth out my edges. Losing my best friend softened me to the loss of loved ones. Failing in ministry has made me sympathetic to the people who finish last. Marital struggles changed my views of love and commitment. Having children made me give up my hard selfish ways. Helping my parents in their old age has changed my view of senior citizens.
Over time the rough edges have been smoothed down. My hard heart is slowly becoming soft.
I don’t know if this is everyone’s story, but it is my story. I sometimes think that part of God’s grace is allowing me to live long enough to become more Christlike.