The Heart of the Matter

When I think of February, I can’t help but picture a big, beautiful, heart-shaped box of chocolates. But as wonderful as that may be, there are two other hearts that are even more incredible!

The first is the physical heart. Even today, this muscle still has doctors mind-boggled as to what keeps it ticking! But did you know these fast facts about this creation of our amazing Lord?
• The heart is about the size of your two hands clasped together
• It beats 100,000 times a day
• Each minute, the heart pumps 1.5 gallons of blood
• A woman’s average heartbeat is faster than a man’s by almost eight beats a minute

Do we have a fantastic God or what? Even more extraordinary, though, is the “inner” heart that He has given us to guide us every day of our lives. We can touch the hearts of others in so many ways – even with something as simple as a glass of milk.

One day, a poor boy named Howard Kelly was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school when he found he had only one thin dime left, and he was very hungry. He decided to ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal, he only asked for a drink of water.

She thought he looked hungry, so she brought him a large glass of milk instead. He drank it slowly and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”

“You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.” He replied, “Then I thank you from my heart.” As Howard left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strengthened as well. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many years later, that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists, including one Dr. Howard Kelly, to study her rare disease. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. He recognized her at once.

He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case. After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval.

He looked at it and then wrote something on the edge. The bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked – and she read these words.

“Paid in full with one glass of milk”

During this month in which love is so highly celebrated, what is your “inner” heart telling you to do to help someone else in need? The greatest way to introduce others to your anchor of hopeful expectation, Jesus Christ, is to do an act of love for someone in need of His compassion and care. Maybe it’s buying a week’s worth of groceries, or volunteering to shovel a neighbor’s driveway buried in snow, or perhaps simply providing a kind word or a shoulder to cry on.

Whatever God leads you to do, obey His prompting…and you’ll fulfill perhaps the greatest message on love ever spoken. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:36-38 NIV)

Happy Heart (Valentine’s) Day!

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