Wednesday, August 05, 2009

My Open Heart

This is my story of opening my heart to let God's love shine (see Ladies of Grace at Beth's blog).

Now don't expect to read about how I performed a miracle. I did not! The idea of opening one's heart is to notice the small ways you can be a gracious person in the course of your ordinary daily events. Not to move mountains, not to convert anyone, not to be a big hero or a martyr. Just to be more gracious and to remember that God's love is in your heart - it should be shared, not hidden.

So this is what happened to me. I read the first chapter in Beth's book, A Heart Like His. The thought was in my mind about making my heart warm and soft instead of cold and hard. So.. I happened to attend a gathering of some acquaintances I had known in the past. I was not terribly fond of these people. But during this gathering, something happened. I remembered in the middle of the gathering that I didn't want to have a cold heart.

Deep inside my heart, I believe that everyone is basically good -- even the bad people. Every bad person starts out as a Child of God, and through bad experiences and bad choices, he or she learned to do bad things. But that does not mean that I should be bad back at them!

So there I sat in this gathering of acquaintances that had never been my best friends and never will be. I opened up my heart a crack, and I realized that I could be patient. I could listen. I could purposely be non-judgmental. I didn't have to turn into their Best Friend Forever, but I could be a nice person and give them respect. So I did! And guess what! I ended up having fun! Opening my heart, just a crack, let me see some of the good inside these acquaintances. I was able to laugh and enjoy the time. And hopefully they enjoyed the gathering a little more than they might have expected, too.

So... that's my story. A very small thing. I opened my heart. I tried to be gracious rather than impatient and hard-hearted. It felt good! And I hope to remember this experience and try to be this way more often. Wouldn't the world be a much better place if we could all strive to be Ladies (and Gentlemen) of Grace every day?

Open your heart today, and tell your story at Beth's blog... I would love to hear more stories, and you might win a prize!


Megs said...

Love it! Great example, Carol! I'm so excited to see all the wonderful things that happen with this blog carnival...
We've missed you at book group - when are you coming back?!

Michele Bilyeu said...

Beautifully expressed, Carol. It is one of the hardest practices when it is a challenge with those we want to open it to, but one of the greatest of blessings for both us and them, when we feel it happen. The inner smile and glow of love is so precious when it fills up all the cracks and spaces. We know for sure that God's grace is truly present in us and through us, and it doesn't get any better than that :)

Unknown said...

Sweet! That is so cool! And next time will be easier!

Elaine Adair said...

It was wisdom, also. You have reached "wisdom" ... congratulations. What a gift that was to you.

As I reread this, I am thinking it does not sound as warm as I am feeling, reading your post. This was a valuable lesson for LOTs of people. Thank you. 8-)

BrendaLou said...

good for you...the world would be a beeter place if there were more Carols in it!