Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Value of a Heartbeat

My father knelt in a freshly plowed field. He sunk his fingers into the soil, a handful sifted through his grasp. Another plunge of his hand, again the soil ran through like sands in an hour glass. This is where my father went to "get his spunk back."
At 64 years of age, my father suffered a massive heart attack. I can't tell you the time, the date or even how I ended up standing in the ER. All I can remember today is my father lying in a hospital bed. Looking down at him, I felt a fear I can not put into words. I remember thinking ... "My Dad is the strongest man in the world, this kind of thing doesn't happen to him. Someone has made a mistake. In a minute, he'll get up and walk out of here." That didn't happen.
I grew up in an extremely close family. Losing either of my parents would devastate me. Going through the motions of tests, decisions and acceptance of my father's condition ... those were difficult days. After determining he would need heart bypass, my father made a decision. Regardless of the doctor's wishes, he would go home for several months. Dad wanted to wait for his surgery. There were multiple reasons but the one that sticks in mind ... Dad told me he needed his spunk to make it through the surgery.
For my father, spunk came from his land, his farm. He worked hard for every acre, each parcel was earned with a steady pace of "blood, sweet and tears." He came home from the hospital and walked into his field. The field he had plowed, planted and harvested for years. He dropped to his knees and ran his hands through the soil. It was medicine for his soul.
My father made it safely through his surgery. He spent this spring planting and harvesting a garden on his farm.
Just as the heart surgeon repaired my father's arteries, God repairs our spirit. He is like the soil
on my father's farm. God's richness, goodness fills our hearts and mends the hurt in our lives. He is the only One who can perform spiritual heart surgery.
Today, if you're hurting, feel hardened by the weight of this world ... turn to the One who can ease your pain.
Ezekiel 36:26 "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. I have a similar vivid memory of my grandfather when he was battling cancer. He'd always been so strong, and to see him fumbling to hold an inhaler . . . heartbreaking.

    So glad your father pulled through. My dad's side of the family owns a farm, so I'm well acquainted with those who get their spunk from the land. It's a passion, not a profession.

  2. Roseanna, thank you so much for sharing your experience. You are right, it is a passion, not a profession. I love the way you put that into words.