Heart Aches

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”   Psalm 19:14

I searched “heart” in the Bible. There are 926 uses of that word.

When you talk about something important, do you talk about what is in your head or your heart?

Our brain does the thinking, so why so much emphasis on heart?

I had double-bypass surgery in 2003. There were many side effects.  My left pectoral drooped a bit and went partially numb.  My right lower leg went numb from where they harvested a vein.  I experienced a good deal of confusion in those early days.  Part of it was undoubtedly from the anesthetic; the rule of thumb is that it takes about one month per hour you were under for your body to finally get it all out.

Even several months later back at work I found myself grateful for a closed door office, so I could sit there and cry without being seen as confusion and frustration dominated my waking hours. I’m still not sure if all of my faculties have returned since then.  Maybe they have, or I just got used to having lost a step or two.

Crying. It still happens at the most unwanted times.  Any emotional moment no matter how small, brings on the tears.  I’ve learned that this is a common trait amongst those of us in the Zipper Club (so named for the look of the scar).

But why? One thing I learned is that around the heart are a lot of nerves, which isn’t necessarily surprising.  It is the nature of those nerves that I was surprised to learn.  Those cells are very much like our brain cells!

Above I mentioned various spots of numbness as a result of nerves being cut in the operation. Those heart nerves were cut too as the surgeon made his way to my heart.

So much confusion in the months after, so many tears! It’s no wonder since those brain-like cells around my heart were damaged.  Isn’t it amazing how God created us with – shall I say it? – two brains!  One is for the mundane, practical side of life.  The other one, the really important one, resides with the heart.

No wonder the Bible identifies the heart over 900 times when referring to the essence of a person!

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3 thoughts on “Heart Aches

  1. I’ve noticed that distinction too. I like your description. Although, I’ve always interpreted the “heart” as basically the soul of man or the conscience of man. Whereas the brain is where reason comes in. The heart is where God writes His Law, such that His people innately know Him. This is the compass God gives us by the Holy Spirit, which dwells within our “hearts.”

    Jeremiah 31:33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the Lord.”

    Galatians 4:6 “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’”

    When we follow our Compass, we do well. It’s when the human reason of the mind disrupts the Compass that we go astray. Our spiritual journey involves calibrating our reason with our Compass.

    • I agree that “heart” can be taken metaphorically too. But more and more I keep learning how the Bible displays scientific underpinnings to what it teaches. Perhaps both interpretations have some overlap? The more I learn, the more I perceive greater depth to the Word. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I appreciate the effort to put thoughts together.

      • Nothing is impossible with God! We know from experience that we physically feel deep emotion in our hearts, hence your phrase “Heart Aches.” So He may very well dwell there.

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