Heart transplants are sheer miraculous to me! How a beating heart from one body can be transplanted to another body and the whole process works to give life is absolutely mind boggling to me. I cried through the movie 7 Pounds as Will Smith gave one organ at a time so that another person could live until he gave the ultimate gift …his heart. Then there was that other movie, Return to Me where actor David Duchovny finally fell in love again after losing his first wife in a tragic accident only to find out his new “love”, actress Minnie Driver, carried the donated heart of his first wife inside her chest! (sobbing accepted here!). Now I’m not a doctor or a medical professional by any stretch of the imagination so please pardon any part of this that isn’t medically accurate, but I’d ask that you try to follow me on this wild and crazy comparison of this heart transplant analogy for the sake of a thought provoking moment.
God has asked my husband and I to pick up stakes, if you will, and move from our home here in New England (our area of the country for 20 years now) to a new place in Alabama. This week in particular, has been very emotional for me as the “countdown” gets closer with only 4 ½ weeks until “moving day”. I’ve cried, prayed, eaten too much for comfort, practically kissed the kids and grandkids every time they leave the room much less the house, written emotional e-mails and blog-posts, cried over leaving certain plants (that’s another good story coming), had that “this is the last (fill in the blank)” moments (like going to our son’s last high school play ), had lunch dates and beach days with family and friends I love, had more of those “meaningful conversations” with everyone who’ll listen , and held on a little longer with each hug, etc.
It dawned on me this morning that God is actually transplanting our “hearts” from Connecticut to Alabama…from one body to another body. Interestingly, heart transplants can only happen if someone loses their life and selflessly donates their heart to another person so that they can live—thus the heart living on in another body. You can tell where this is going can’t you!! Is being “transplanted” to a new place like a real heart transplant? Does something have to figuratively “die” in order for the transplant to happen? Does the “body” giving the “heart” hurt as the arteries of the heart are clipped away and the heart removed? Does the new “body” accept the new “heart” or reject it? Will the “heart” continue to beat fully alive in its new surroundings? Will the “heart” even be recognized as before or will it make this new body its own as if it had been there since birth? How do you fill up the hole left in the original body ? Is this what love being poured out looks like?
And the Holy Spirit reminded me of something Jesus had said…
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. (John 12:23-26, NIV)
Death always brings life of some kind (God’s words to me after my own Dad passed away). I really don’t mean this to be morbid or overwhelmingly sad but it does seem that this is God’s order of things…death to life. I can’t escape the truth of it all no matter how much heart medication I take. There has to be death and a cutting away in order for new life to be produced. It’s painful at times—it actually should produce pain to confirm there was ever life to begin with, but oh the life that it produces… life that will last…fruit that will last…satisfaction…peace… a new season of beauty in the new growth…more hearts beating as one in the body of Christ…
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:3-5, NIV)
But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:9-11, NIV)
For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. (2 Corinthians 4:11-13, NIV)
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus,who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Timothy 1:9-10, NIV)
May my heart keep pumping with the truth that …
…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations]. (I John 1:7 Amplified Bible)
and may my heart keep beating with His life-giving power wherever I go and may I truly love God and love people …with all my heart !