One of my favorite things to do is something that I never talk about much. It’s just a little something I have been doing for years, in a variety of natural places, from mountain trails to rocky shorelines.
There is nothing rigorous, obsessive or intense about this activity. It’s just a gentle way of looking around the place where I am walking – and keeping my eyes open for something special. In particular, what I am looking for are heart stones, stones that are shaped like hearts.
In years of doing this, I have gathered quite a collection, and that does not even count most of the stones that I have just left in place for others to find – or not.
The vast majority of stones are not shaped like hearts at all, not even close. And even the ones that are sort of, kind of, maybe, getting close to going in the direction of being shaped like hearts aren’t quite there. The time it takes for the forces of nature to grind, shatter, and break the stones into “hearts” is beyond easy comprehension. And obviously, there is a judgment call made only by me that decides that yes, this one is indeed a heart stone. I know one when I see one. And each one makes me happy as a little symbolic reminder of meaning and joy.
When I think about the mystery of Easter, and how the stone found rolled away from the empty tomb shattered the expectations of those who came there with broken hearts, I cannot help but feel a smile on my own heart in a way that I cannot explain. Like them, like anyone who has ever lived, our hearts can be broken by the infinite challenges that go with living in the world. And yet, in the resurrection we are shown once again – in ways that transcend our comprehension – that that our self-appointed limits of what is possible in this world is much too small.
Christ came into this stony world that we might have life and have it abundantly. But sometimes I think that if he had not transcended the grave, our hearts may have remained too hard to believe him. O I pray that Easter will get our attention. That the radical joy of Easter will rock our world. May its message roll away the stones that weigh on our hearts. And as we walk with Christ in the way of love, may we recognize him not as a stranger, knowing that none of us is alone.