The Heart of the Matter

I’m going to write this next sentence like it was perfectly typical, but it is not.

A friend underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery and was discharged from the hospital, so my family went to his house with chicken and rice, salad and dessert.

Surreal is a good word to describe recent events. He was running twelve miles one day, and the next he was in line for angioplasty (a fail) before having his ribs cracked and pulled apart for emergency open heart surgery.

More words: incomprehensible…genetic predisposition…miracle recovery…the HEART.

I pretended to understand his near death experience. I audibly gasped. I sighed. I patted his hand and bobbed my head as I listened to him recant his amazing story.

I wanted to know what he planned to do with his life now that he had it back, but what came out was a statement rather than a question. I told him to ask God what He thought he should do. Of course, I was under the assumption that a catastrophic event would lead to some big “aha” moment; one where every thing once familiar in one’s life would suddenly be heightened or at least different somehow, right?

This assumption, undecidedly right or wrong, nagged me into the next day.

I reasoned. His personality probably wouldn’t change. I learned once that people’s predispositions don’t significantly change past the age of six.

I reasoned. His everyday life probably wouldn’t change. Once he recovers, he’ll have to perform all the same mundane activities we all do like washing dishes, and cleaning urine from around the bottom of the toilet bowl.

What would change? Something had to change! Okay. Maybe he’ll be thankful once he heals that he can wash a dish or a toilet again. Bah! That wouldn’t be enough. That would never be enough!

Then, because God was talking to me as much as him, I had an “aha” moment. God is skilled like that, you know. When our friend was hanging on a thread, hooked up to various tubes, he said there was only one thing that mattered.

His heart beat softly as tears welled up in his eyes.

He told us God said, I’m all you need.

So, his story boiled down to this? This was the heart of the matter? God is all we need??

Uhuh. I mean, aha! He is all we’ll ever need. Oh, and atypically, a good surgeon may be required to stitch your chest cavity back together around your re-routed heart.♥♥♥



  1. You know we think we’re invincible until something pierces our armour. Like surgery, or health problems, or finances, job loss. And surrendering all of this to God, is really the only way to get through it. Someone gave me a prayer blanket to cover me in the hospital after some serious surgery. I could feel the love of all the people that prayed, I felt warm, my pain was not so bad, I felt cared for. Like something other than me was in that room. It was the energy on that blanket and in essence that is God. This is a beautiful story, and I can totally relate. Thank you for this.

    • I agree with you that prayer IS palpable. The blanket you received is a much better idea than the strawberry shake we gave our friend😗

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