This Minnesota winter has been mild, but the above average temps have created a new winter challenge: ice. Lots and lots of it. During the daytime it warms up just a bit above freezing and melts, then freezes again when the sun goes down. Entire parking lots are like ice rinks. Sloping driveways are hazardous to hips.
Yesterday, as I shook some salt out on my driveway, I thought about how sometimes people get frozen in the waters of their faith too. They claim that they embrace the gospel of Jesus, but they are harsh and cold and inflexible: hardened, like ice. Maybe the temperature of their lives is too comfortable? Perhaps they forget that while they live in climate-controlled homes, they are not in charge of the weather? From their comfortable perches they can see the clearest path and can begin to judge others who choose apparently incorrect routes because their circumstances are different. My attitude towards these folks is an icy patch on my own faith journey.
Once someone reaches this frozen state, it often seems the only thing that can change them is being broken - shattered by some disruption to their comfortable life. Many an unexpected loss or challenge has shattered a hardened heart and from a shattered heart, new tenderness and tolerance can be born.
In these "polar-iced" days, it is tempting to sit back and wait for the worst to happen to those I think have frozen hearts. But Jesus calls me to be salt and light - the very things that can melt what is frozen. So I guess I should share my salty tears and warm hugs with all, those whom I love, and those who may need an icy heart melted. And perhaps that will melt my own icy patches too.