The quiet crunch beneath my feet was familiar as I made my way down the gravel road. It’s been more than three decades now, and funny thing is I never tire of it. Perhaps it’s recognizing my surroundings that brings comfort.
Today as I walked, hunting for heart rocks was on my mind. At times they seem to appear out of nowhere and when they do, I pick them up. Today, however, they were few and far between.
When one was found, it was tucked safely into the palm of my hand. Soon, my focus was so intent I began to see things that were not there. A pointed end surely meant there were rounded tops offering the much sought after curvature completing the shape of a heart.
Once home, I discovered there were 11 rocks. Upon review, only four could actually be classified as hearts. The others came in the shape of ovals, triangles, or plain ol’ pebbles, but in my desire to see hearts, they were chosen.
I suppose if left long enough, the rough life along the gravel road would eventually take off a few more edges and those not yet formed would become more heart shaped. (Down the road, so to speak.) After all, isn’t that what we all desire…to be recognized as one with a heart?
Heart-to-heart, we all know the journey in life takes off a few rough edges. Sometimes the edges are worn off while others are torn off in the shaping process. Come to think of it, it wasn’t His heart alone that was pierced for our transgressions but His whole body broken for us. He even offers a way for us to remember ourselves to Him through the amazing sacrament (which is a way of remembering His sacrifice) of Communion.
He says, “Take and eat” (1Corin. 11:24). In other words, He invites us to partake in. We not only get to partake in the remembrance of Him, but we get to partake in what it takes to make our heart like His. We get to enter into the suffering it takes to round off a few of the sharp edges in order to shape it accordingly.
What a gift to behold — to have and to hold.
So the next time you go kicking down the gravel road of life upon which you’ve been placed, may you see His work in progress. May you unite as one with Him in the formation process as we are being shaped more fully into one of His heart rocks. May our compassion be on full display as we pick up others along the road in their formation process.
He needs so many, you know, as it eventually offers solid ground upon which others too may walk. Amen.
Kathleen Kjolhaug lives on the family homestead outside of Clearbrook with her husband Pete. She enjoys writing about family life and brings humor into the sacred moments of everyday living.
Theology in the Trenches appears in several local newspapers throughout Minnesota. Kathleen can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org