Recently I received a call that my son had been taken to a hospital in Little Rock. Without breaking the speed limit, I went to the emergency room where he lay. The cardiologist had done the usual test to see if there were any valve blockage to the heart. Thankfully the report was good. We were told that he had good large and healthy arteries, for which, once again we were thankful.
From this however, I started thinking. Knowing the spirit and gift of giving God has entrusted him with, I decided that I’d just say he had an “enlarged heart.” That is a good thing. Had the cardiologist found an enlarged heart physically, he would have given Greg medication. After the diagnosis, the cardiologist would have ordered bed rest and follow up exams. Monitoring his health with scrutiny making sure the heart was kept in check or eventually a heart transplant may be in his future.
He has an enlarged heart alright, spiritually speaking. I’ve seen the effects of his enlarged heart.
I also thought of others through out history that had enlarged hearts. (Spiritually speaking) My first thought went to Mother Theresa. The great saint who gave herself tirelessly to the people of India. So humble was her spirit, that to compliment her may have touched her ears and linger there. Her heart was set on a mission far greater than living a few years in this world, and piling up wealth or a name for herself. Her heart enlarged by love overflowed until it encompassed the poor, the crumbs of society the outcast, the lepers, or the sick, and brought a smile to their face and comfort to their existence.
You know people like that. You may be one. A Christian with an enlarged heart is compassionate. He/she is a giver. They are servants. Our city has them.
You know some of them by name. They serve in the nursing homes, the Bethany house, the soul food café. They rock babies, they offer their services to take the sick and elderly to Doctor’s appointments. They take food to a neighbor who is ill. They warm the homeless with a kind word and a bowl of soup and a place to lay their head. They offer shelter to the battered wife and her children. They take a box of groceries and lay them at the door of the one who has prayed for help, but didn’t know how to ask. They call a friend who has a son who has strayed away from his Christian upbringing. They call a friend who has a husband in Iraq and offer a shoulder or a listening ear. They encourage the single mother with their help and support. “It won’t always be like this. Stay in school. Get an education. Keep your relationship with the Lord fresh and strong. It will get better!” they persuade.
Luke 10:30-38 tells us of the good Samaritan.
“….A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
The good Samaritan is a generic term. This passage of scripture refers to “him” but it doesn’t really matter. The fact that he did something, anything shows us an enlarged heart. A heart that had empathy, sympathy or compassion on a man in need. The recipient of the Samaritan’s deed could have been anyone. Luke records him as a “certain man”. To know his name is not the important lesson.
To me the lesson is: to be involved in the needs around me. Whether neighbor or stranger, I want to be effective in being the Lord’s hands, His feet, yes even His heart. As a Christian I must, I must have an enlarged heart.