A year ago a local policeman was killed in the line of duty. That was a sad time in our community and continues to be for those who knew and loved him. This week there was a special ceremony celebrating his life. God used this tragedy for good in many ways.
The Heart of the Matter
Sunday after church my husband picked up the paper and mentioned the front page article and photo about the man who had received the slain officer’s heart. I stopped what I was doing to look at the photo. I needed to see the man that had been given a second chance at life. He was smiling as he stood with the slain officer’s family.*
My first thought was, “Wow! I’ll bet he’s living life with a new perspective now. What a life-altering experience—meeting the ones whose loss of a son resulted in his life. He must be overflowing with gratitude and a determination to live life to the fullest.”
The Question of the Day
In that instant the Spirit spoke to my heart. No, actually, it felt more like he grabbed me by the shoulders, looked me square in the eyes and said, “I gave you a new heart. Is that the way you’re living?”
Blind-sided by the question, I swallowed hard, fought the emotion, and got busy…
- busy preparing lunch
- busy cleaning up
- busy watching t.v.
- busy preparing for another day
- busy running from the question
Today is another day and I am busy. We read and learn and test. I wash and dry and fold. We talk and eat and plan. I clean and vacuum and mop. At last busy is done. I sit down ready to meditate and rest as I knit. The Spirit gently reminds me of the heart issue.
The Gift of Life
I know I must revisit the photo. I find it and take a closer look. This time I read the story and surrender to the Spirit’s words.
The man recounts the night at the hospital waiting for the heart and how they tell him that until they have the heart they can not be certain it is a match. But it was.
“It was perfect,” Sorvillo said. “I’m alive because of Justin’s gift.”
The Spirit said, “My heart was perfect for you. You are alive because of My gift.”
He also recalled watching the news as he waited at the hospital and making the connection between his life and the one who had died. “How sad was it that this guy had to die, and how his last act was to save my life?” Sorvillo remembered thinking.
The Spirit said, “Jesus died to save your life.”
The Gratitude of the Recipient
The man said, “You feel like, well, do you deserve it? And you feel sorrow and great gratitude at the same time.” [He] fell silent. He inhaled. Exhaled deeply and wiped his tears. “It’s pretty hard to put those feelings together,” he said.
I, too, fall silent. I inhale grace and exhale praise as I am reminded of The Gift I’ve received.
I decide (again) to live fully alive—with gratitude—not wasting a minute of the precious life I’ve been given.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
1 John 4:9
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
*For the full story click here.