I gave my heart to Jesus in an African American church while I was on vacation in sunny Miami, Florida. Legend has it, I was one of the first Caucasians to ever step foot in that holy place. I remember stumbling to the front alter barely able to speak, let alone breath. At the tender age of seventeen I had already lived a battle worn life full of hardship, suffering and loss, and my young heart was showing the tell tale signs of this wear and tear. It was sickened with suffocating fear, inflamed with soul crushing self-hate and wreaking of despair and loneliness. I was in need of a heart doctor, just not the kind this world pays half a million a year for.
In Ezekial 36:26, God says, “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.” These words comprise a promise, a purpose and a plan. A promise that our heart will beat once again with the life giving, world-changing love it was originally intended to house. A purpose, as our relationships, habits and actions come to reflect the meaning and beauty of a life lived in a love-connection to God and others. And finally, a plan whereby we know that every time our ol’ ticker gets a butt kicking in life, we can refuse to allow it to become hard or callous, to become like stone, by running to the one who made it in the first place, and asking Him for yet another proverbial heart transplant. A heart of stone for a heart of flesh; a spiritual surgery of sorts whereby love is able to flow freely through our hearts and change us from the inside out.
I got my first heavenly heart transplant twenty years ago. It was the best decision I ever made. The doctor was an expert in His field; a skilled caretaker with a tender touch and the kindest bedside manner you could ask for. He was beyond world class, he was heaven sent. And every time I need a little touch up, he’s still there to do the job. No payment necessary, no questions asked. Just Jesus and me, and my new heart overflowing with the love it was designed for.
P.S. Listen to the song in the link above!!!