One of my new favorite songs is “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” by Phillips, Craig and Dean. I can hear it over and over again. Each time I hear it my heart literally feels the ache of the greatest disappointments in my life but without the pain of wondering how I’m going to get through each day because the present is good. How redeeming.
The story behind the song is a pastor watched one of his church members do an open heart surgery on a patient. After the surgeon fixed the heart, he massaged the heart to beat again. The heart did not beat. He did it multiple times and tried more aggressive treatments. It still did not beat. The surgeon then took his mask off, knelt next to the patient and told her the surgery was successful. “Now tell your heart to beat again.” It started beating.
Do you remember the day when something so devastating happened you didn’t know if you could breathe? The memories of when and where you heard your doctor say you or your loved one has cancer, your spouse tells you he is leaving you, your boss lets you go from your job or you receive news your child is dead are crystal clear.
Putting one foot in front of the other is too much. Telling your heart to beat one beat at a time is the new challenge. In times of trauma or grief, our hearts go one of two ways. It either beats stronger or it dies. “…Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Is. 40:31)
Love, hope and faith or bitterness, fear and despondence. After sitting in grief for what felt like eternity, I remember telling myself in hard times those are my two options and gosh darn it I’m going to choose love, hope and faith. I wanted to be able to love again and live fearlessly. I abandoned myself to the Lord, the Great Surgeon, who carried me through some of the toughest times, massaged my heart and made it beat again.
Dear friends, whatever you are experiencing, the death you are feeling does not have to be final. “Tell your heart to beat again, close your eyes and breathe it in, let the shadows fall away, step into the light of Grace. Yesterday’s a closing door, you don’t live there anymore, say goodbye to where you’ve been, and tell your heart to beat again…”