I did not have any idea what to expect.
Anticipation of the unknown filled me with fear.
My body trembled uncontrollably. Unsure if the shivers were from the cold, metal table or from the overwhelming dread, a tear formed on my left cheek. The kind nurse wiped it away.
“It’s alright honey, we got you,” she reassured me. “That’s why we’re here.”
She covered me with a warm blanket. She injected a potion to calm my nerves. She covered my hair with a blue cap as the technician wheeled a flat metal panel above my chest.
“This is the camera,” he explained. “This will allow us to look into your heart.”
It was the day after Palm Sunday. As we drove to the hospital I talked myself into reassurances that I would have a clean heart for Easter. To start the first day of Holy Week with a thorough picture of the heart is a good thing.
But the lurking expectation of the one percent thing that could go wrong overcame the wonder that through advanced technology I could have a complete picture of the innermost chambers of my heart.
[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]But the lurking expectation of the one percent thing that could go wrong overcame the wonder that through advanced technology I could have a complete picture of the innermost chambers of my heart.[/perfectpullquote]
Over the past months my cardiologist put me through a series of tests to determine the source of an irregular heart beat and an abnormal EKG. The echocardiogram and stress test were normal, but a calcium stress test revealed deposits in a critical part of the heart.
I am 85 percent confident things are ok, he told me. This is why we will do the angiogram. I want to be 100 percent sure.
This is your heart.
I whispered a prayer, buried in my conscience years ago from Psalm 51:10:
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit in me.
The word for heart in Hebrew is leb: the inner soul, the center, the inner man, mind, will, understanding.
To think that by one thin wire someone had the ability to see into my heart.
[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]To think that by one thin wire someone had the ability to see into my heart.[/perfectpullquote]
What an amazing procedure.
But when they wheeled me into surgery, I could not stop shaking. Fear overcame wonder.
I was conscious during the process. I felt the wire enter through a wrist in my artery and sensed the moment the wire entered my heart.
I feel pressure, I said.
I think of the moment Jesus carried the burden of all our sin deposits on his heart. The heaviness he felt. The pressure.
It must have been beyond his expectation. The fear. The isolation. The separation from his Father.
Yet he moved forward with the procedure, bearing the weight of his heavy heart and body from his hands suspended on a cross.
What crushing terror he must have endured.
And humanly, I wonder if just for a moment, he wondered, is this really going to work?
When he rose on Easter morning, and removed the linens that shrouded his hands, arms and body, what wonder overcame him.
His once heavy lungs must have deeply exhaled a sigh of relief.
His scars were healed. Our hearts were clean.
The miracle or resurrection defied all expectation.
I am still reeling at the phenomenon of a clean heart.
I am still in awe of that picture on the screen, in black and white, of my heart after the doctor announced, I’m in. I have a view of your heart. All looks good. All looks clear. No deposits block your arteries..
Fully functioning. Clear passageways.
The center, the soul, the seat of my being
was declared clean.
Today is the day after Easter.
I watched the sunrise on Easter morning.
I heard the birds sing as they anticipated the arrival of its dawn.
And I marvel at the procedure God provided to give us clean hearts.
Hearts no longer blocked by the deposit of sin that constricts and destroys.
[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] And I marvel at the procedure God provided to give us clean hearts. Hearts no longer blocked by the deposit of sin that constricts and destroys. [/perfectpullquote]
Hearts that were designed to beat freely and fully to reflect the nature of God’s own heart.
A heart full of love fractured the moment we first turned away, thinking there was something better.
Broken hearted, God designed a great plan that would allow our hearts to be clean once again.
A plan did not exclude moments of fear and heartache.
A plan that defied all expectations.
A plan that would allow our hearts to beat in unity with his own heart.
A plan that is immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.
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One thought on “A Procedure for a Clean Heart”
This was fantastic, moving. Somehow your description of feeling pressure and the pressure he felt made my heart stop … pausing to feel it too.
Blessings and health to you,