I wear a heart monitor for two days. The past few months I feel flutters sometimes, skipped beats sometimes, strange things sometimes. I go see my doctor and she says it’s actually quite normal for hearts to “restart” now and then.
When do you notice it? she asks.
Mostly when it’s quiet, when I’m sitting or lying down, when life is still. I answer.
Maybe it’s been a long time since life was still, or quiet, since I let my heart sit or lie and rest.
Maybe when I do, I realize there is something wrong with my heart.
Maybe not my earthly heart, but my soul heart.
Maybe I don’t need a monitor to tell me about my earthly heart.
Maybe I need a monitor to tell me about my soul heart.
I think I care for it, I know I skip a beat sometimes, I feel irregular flutterings sometimes. But I keep going, keep bustling, keep moving on. I don’t quiet enough to just listen to my soul heart sometimes.
So I ask God, How is my heart?
Because he doesn’t look at our earthly hearts, does He? He looks at our soul hearts. And He’s the only one who can monitor those. No machinery in the world could be strapped onto a person for a couple of days and tell the doctors how their soul hearts are, can they?
I know my family history for earthly hearts. Not great. And I know my family history for soul hearts – I’ve been reading through the Old Testament, tracking those Israelites with fresh eyes, seeing new things, learning about my soul family. Not great either.
Then I read about the few who followed their God, who chose Him above all others, who LOVED him. They used their soul hearts well and filled them with love for their God. There were a few kings like Josiah and David. The given names of our older son. The names we gave him to remind him of the good in his soul family. There were a few prophets like Elijah. The name we gave to our younger son, to remind him of the power of his God. Josh gave him the middle name Thunder just to make sure. There were a few Israelites like Caleb and Joshua. The names we chose for our middle son, who lives in the promised land before us. We gave him another middle name – Freedom – to remind ourselves of the ultimate freedom his soul heart lives in for eternity.
I want to be one of the few. No. I want to be one of the many. I hope and pray for many who choose God and love Him with all they’ve got. With all their hearts.
I drive to get my boys from school this afternoon, and the sun shines down as I listen to How He Loves in the van. Continuously playing the words over and over, like I just really need to hear them right now. The song says we are TREES. At church on Sunday morning I see the familiar words on the big screen up front, and I smile and I sing the song with hundreds around me, and I worship like I haven’t for a long time. My friend sends me an email with a link to the song, like God whispered to her heart that I need to keep listening to those words, like I shouldn’t stop just yet. My soul heart hasn’t quite heard them yet.
So I listen to them again as I drive in the sunshine. I pull up to a light with the windows rolled down, and I always wonder if I should turn it down or not (because I have it right cranked and I’m singing at the top of my lungs). I check to see if the cars beside have their windows rolled down too – yep, both of them. I stop my singing, and I turn the music down a little, but then I realize they need to hear the words just as much as I do, because that part of the song where he just constantly sings He Loves Us is coming up and don’t we all need to hear that – always? Who am I to keep the words from flowing to those around me as well? But I keep my voice to myself and I let David Crowder proclaim God’s love, just in case I’m off-pitch.
As I pull away from the light I feel a sudden gust of wind through the window. I could almost feel God’s hand brushing my hair away from my face, patting me on the head just like my daddy always does when what he really wants to do is tell me he loves me. And I see how all these years my heavenly daddy was showing me love through my earthly daddy, with a simple pat on the head. It wasn’t what he didn’t do, it was what he did do. And he showed me love in his own quiet way, and those gentle pats on the head I hold dear in my soul heart, each one.
So how is my soul heart? I’ll leave it with God to answer. He’s the only one who can monitor each beat of that heart of mine.
But How He Loves, and if I let His love flow through my soul heart, that life-giving love can never cease to keep a steady beat.