A sliver of glass in our hearts

In Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Snow Queen, he tells a series of seven stories. The first of these is about a demon-made mirror which shatters into tiny pieces which are scattered around the world. The pieces fall into eyes and work their way into hearts, changing the way people see and feel about the world around them.

The demon mirror had the ability to make everything lovely seem ugly and mean and to make everything rude and distasteful seem beautiful and good. So, when tiny shards of this glass infect eyes and hearts, it causes people to choose the wrong and the hateful and to reject the good and the true.

These fragments of glass aren’t so large that they obscure everything people see and taint every corner of their hearts — people can still acknowledge some of what is true and good and beautiful — but they affect perception just enough to make people disagreeable, undermining relationships and the way the world is experienced.

As I read the story, I nodded to myself, recognizing a true diagnosis of my own condition.

Lord, clear my eyes. Repair my heart. Enable me to see as you see, to love as you love. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.