Vander's Thoughts

Vander's Thoughts

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Heart

I found myself at my favorite burger place, Five Guys, yesterday for an awesome bacon jalapeno cheeseburger and their amazing fries, when something tragic occurred. I saw this gentleman stand up from his table and then immediately crash to the floor. I jumped from my chair to assist him, as did many others in the restaurant. Someone shouted out to call 911, so I reached for my phone, dialed, and found myself instantly speaking to an emergency dispatcher. After giving them the address and a brief description of what happened, I went back into the restaurant to see a motionless man lying on the floor with his wife laying over him trying to give him any type of comfort and everyone else standing there helpless. I was compelled to reach out to her and offered the only thing I could in that moment, prayer. I asked her if I could pray and she immediately shouted her affirmation. It was in that moment that I called upon to the Great Physician and His intervention.

As I laid my hand on the fallen man, however, I could feel that his life was no longer in his hand, it was cold. I remember the feelings of inadequacy in that moment as I kneeled there with this women and her husband and all I could do was plead for God’s involvement and His peace.  As I prayed out loud I could sense others in the room joining me and it was confirmed when I heard a collective Amen when I was finished. Within moments the paramedics where in the room and immediately went to work on this man’s heart which I found out later had been stopped for at least 5 minutes. They were able to regain a heartbeat with the defibrillator and whisked him off to the Emergency Room for the fight of his life. 

In the aftermath I was able to speak to a few people about the precious nature of life and the need to be right with God, but by the time I got back to my lunch it was cold and soggy and not very appetizing for a number of reasons. The manager let me know he appreciated my efforts and told me to come back for lunch on him whenever I wanted. As I made my way to the soda fountain for a quick refill, I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion and completely lost it. I was shocked. I mean I have been doing this pastor thing for over 17 years and the many funerals and countless hospital visits had never done this to me before. Why was my heart so burdened in this moment like never before?

It really makes you ponder the condition of your physical heart when you experience something like that. However, the most important condition of our hearts is the one Jesus mentions in Matthew 22,

“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"

The true condition of our heart is measured in our love for God, for others and ourselves. It all goes hand in hand. What good is a physically healthy heart if the true condition of our heart is corrupted with a lack of love? What I experienced yesterday was a culmination of what I believe Jesus was expressing.

Our hearts need to be primarily focused on our love for God and need for Him in our lives. He is our true heartbeat and source of life. We then to need to be sharing that love with others by the way we share our lives. And finally, we need to love ourselves by caring for the physical bodies He has given us to glorify Him as long as possible in this life.

I hope your heart is in the best condition possible and you are seeking His love, sharing His love and allowing Him to love you.

By the way, I made sure to go an extra mile on the Elliptical for my workout this morning and I’m also not sure when I’ll be up to consuming one of those burgers again.

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