O heart, please beat again!

On Monday night I watched the season finale to “Grey’s Anatomy”. I’ve NEVER watched the show before, but for some reason I watched this particular episode. At one point in the show, a heart surgeon is performing a heart-transplant on a patient. The heart has been successfully sewn into the patient’s chest and the patient seems to be doing well. Now the heart has to be massaged or shocked into action. She massages the heart. They shock the heart. Nothing. Massage some more. Nothing. Shock some more. Nothing. The attending surgeons and doctors and nurses all give up. They start folding things up. The heart-surgeon says, “Wait!” Give it time. Wait! The monitor continues flat-lining. It’s just impossible that this heart is going to work again. Impossible! Too much time has lapsed. I even say in my mind, “He’s dead!” Then, just when it is certain that the heart has failed and the patient is dead, the heart throbs and begins beating! Success. The wisdom and experience of the heart-surgeon produced a faith that truly believed this heart would live again.

I immediately applied it to the personal lives of people in our congregation, and even to the life of our church. There are many people who have consigned us to death; many who have given up and folded up, certain that there is no life left in us. We’ve been both massaged with love and tenderness, and shocked with tragedy and forceful words, but nothing has seemed to work. Nothing. It was a good try and we gave it everything we had, but all for nothing.

However, I feel like that skillful heart-surgeon: I am waiting! Just wait! True resurrection only comes after true death. True death! It can’t be feigned or approximate. It must be true death. Jesus was dead and buried. It wasn’t feigned or approximate. It was total. Everyone had given up and thrown in the towel. The Spirit says, “Wait! Wait! Wait!” I wait. I have an inexplicable certainty that this church WILL beat with life again! I can’t give you facts or data or even experience to support my suspicion. But I believe in the resurrection. I believe in it, and so I have to trust God for it.

So I wait. My God, I prayerfully wait.

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  • David… I love your heart. You restore my faith in pastors.

    I hate that you really really have to die, that you can’t fake it and then look behind you. I hate that you really really have to let go, you can’t just surrender briefly and then look behind your shoulder and say, OK GOD, DO I GET SOMETHING NOW? It really has to hurt, it really has to be gone.

    Something that I keep remembering about the church lately is that death aint’ pretty and so often we judge others’ journeys, try to change them if it doesn’t look quite right, the way we think it’s supposed to look, the way we think it should look for it to fit into our safe version of God.

    I remember when my daughter started crawling, she crawled backwards for awhile. On the outside, it looked wrong, looked like she was going the wrong way. But it was what was needed to go, eventually, the right way.

    My prayer for your body is that you would be able to embrace your backward movements, trusting that as you follow your hearts, it will lead you to the right place.

    Fantastic website! I love it.

  • Kim:
    Nice to hear from you! Crawling backwards doesn’t seem like progress. But it depends what you’re looking for. Thanks for your prayer! May it be heard.

  • Dave! That was amazing! You’re a deep lil fellow eh? I’m so glad God showed you this. It really makes me think about areas in my life that I’ve buried and labeled ‘impossible’. Really neat to see how its connected to the church too. Good guy, that God guy! …nice site too! 🙂

  • Joni

    I think the waiting is almost over… I can see the flat line beginning to quiver! True death brings true life… and we are about to see abundant living!!!! Are we truly ready?? If not get ready quick people because that line is about to bounce with life! He is bringing us to a wide open place. I don’t really care what those looking on think about us (from their narrow view point), all I care about is that the heart beat of Jesus Christ resides in us and that it pulses with His love, forgiveness and grace.

  • Ellen Tremblay

    Yes, yes, friend! I, too, have felt life stirring. It’s not unlike being pregnant. You truly want to believe that something is alive in there and so against all disbelief, you wait (with maybe a few more pregnancy tests to get you through). The first twinges and flutters often go unnoticed, unrecognized. Thoughts of possible life inside can easily be attributed to lunch. Eventually, there is no mistaking the fact that something is moving around in there, but it remains a private experience, for others cannot see or feel the life. Finally, when the baby is strong, life is there for all to see, in all of its alienesque manifestations!

    I think that, for us, life has been stirring for some time…it had been so long that many of us were unaware. And then came the unmistakable flutters that were too precious to speak of. Finally, the movements are there for all to see. There is no more doubting. There is definitely something in there and it wants out!

  • Joni

    Perfectly stated E!! 🙂 I love that analogy.

  • deb

    cool blog!
    Very cool analogy (i love grey’s anatomy)! And i think flat lining is about the way it had been feeling for me at church. Very glad you decided to wait and not pronounce us dead and move on. Hope i’ve truly allowed myself to die so i can be part of the new life.