Friday, July 11, 2008

A Heart Like His

There are so many times in life when things just come together. I can't fully explain it nor do I understand it but I can state that I do not believe in coincidence and I do awknowledge His hand in my life. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason.

I read the most profound book last weekend by Virginia Pearce. She is one of the children of President & Sister Hinckley and writes much like her Father spoke. Oddly enough a male co-worker/friend of mine mentioned this book to me and I've been in love with it from the moment I picked it up for so many reasons.

The book is more about becoming rather than doing. I love that simple idea. She speaks of making a heart soft and enlarged and available but it isn't about busying yourself and or making your life more stressful. She uses some simple experiences from her own life and is willing to expose some of her own weaknesses and she also uses the strong example of her precious Mother.

I believe it's true that when we feel loved by the Lord, we automatically treat other people more lovingly. She presents an experiment in the book that she tried with a group of woman and encourages readers to try as well by posing the following question;

Does simply opening our hearts to others also invite Him into our hearts?

So often we pray for His love to fill our hearts, then we turn towards others with a softened heart. The plan she presents is to simply be more aware of the condition of our hearts, and with this awareness, crack them open a bit wider. The desire is to simply open your heart to others in the hopes that they could feel the love of the Lord more fully in their lives.

Our only job is to keep praying, thinking about our heart - is it open, nonjudgemental, loving and accepting? I fall short but being more aware of this has already helped me catch myself and be better...or at least try! I love the honesty and imagery in this passage that she shares;

"I can actually feel my heart change its physical texture, size, and position, in relation to my spiritial condition. It gets hard and tiny and moves back behind my chest wall when I am angry and wirthdrawn and self-absorbed. On the other hand, when I am filled with love and reaching out to others, it softens and warms and moves forward - it is enlarged and full."

Softens. Warms. Moves forward. Englarged. Full. Here is an amazing quote from her Father that she cites;

"Be not faithless, but believing. Believe in yourselves. Believe in your capacity to do some good in this world. God sent us here for a purpose, and that was to improve the world in which we live. The wonderful thing is that we can do it" - President Gordon B. Hinckley

Did you catch that? Did you read it? Do you believe it? WE CAN DO IT. We can do good and we do need to believe in ourselves. I love the optimism and simplicity his words present! It's so encouraging and brings so much hope right up to the surface.

Here are three more questions that she poses that have really caused me to pause and think;
1) What is it that pries open a hardened heart?
2) What enlarges and softens the most shriveled of human souls?
3) What is the most desirable, the most delicious, the most joyous above all to the soul?
Her answer is being flooded with God's love, being awash with His profound acceptance and glory, being encircled and comforted and healed and set free to go and do!

The other point she makes is that we all have trials that bring us to our knees! This was so crazy refreshing for me to read, ponder and really realize. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in our own issues and wonder why others have it so differently and perhaps so easily. The point is that we all have problems big enough for us to desperately need HIM.

On the B Side: I have so much more to share, so much more that this small book has taught me; however, I have to get my kids to school! I love learning, feeling and growing!!!!

4 shout outs:

Clancy in Idaho said...

Awesome, possum! Looks like one I might have to snag and read. I've been a guilty little fiction reader for several months now and haven't done much to grow as a person. Just done lots of strengthening of fictional relationships! lol! Looks like a book I'd like.

Sure love you and your awesome perspective!


Kristin said...

AMAZING! I love your posts as much as I love Clancy's. You both inspire and uplift me constantly. Thank you!

I think I'm going to get the book. You mentioned another one recently in a comment on my blog. If it's different, I should probably get that one too.

The message is very applicable to me. I know as I've tried to protect myself from the grief I experience has often meant I've hardened my heart a little. I'm always crankier and less patient. When I allow myself to feel and allow others to join me, even if that means crying when I'd rather not, the spirit is able to heal more than myself and I grow a little more.

Thank you so much. I love you,

Michelvis said...

Thanks for the book. I yu you.

Kristin said...

So, I bought the book yesterday morning and read it yesterday. It was just as fabulous as you said. Thank you for the recommendation. I loved it!