Over the last couple of weeks I've had a chance to watch a couple of movies produced by the Eastwood family: (Clint and his kids) "Gran Torino" and "Rails and Ties". In each movie, the theme is the same: the principal character is hardened by life, miserable in their misanthropy, until they encounter people in their lives who somehow manage to break the shell around their hearts. Once that shell cracks, they find themselves feeling and then acting on compassion they have developed for others. What is catalytic in bringing out that compassion differs in each story. In one story, it is the unrelenting kindness of strangers. In the other case, it is guilt, regret, and finally the need of an orphan child that does it.
I loved these movies because they are stories of redemption. I've also learned something from them: if you start loving people, get involved in their lives and all their pain, you'll end up giving your life for others. This is the path of following Christ. If you allow Christ to break all the hardness around your heart, you will become vulnerable to pain and need of others. When that happens, comforting others means more to you than avoiding your own pain. In the end, you will give up your life. In doing so, you will find it!