Several ways to have a heart

Published 5:16 pm Monday, January 27, 2020

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The heart is a muscle, specially designed to pump blood through the body. That blood is constantly dropping off food and oxygen for the body and picking up wastes from the body. In our bodies, the heart is located between the lungs in our chest just to the right of our midline (if you’re looking at the front of the body).

Our hearts, like birds and other mammals, have four chambers divided into two sides on the right and left. Fish have two chambers and reptiles have three chambers. It’s all enclosed in a fluid-filled sac called a pericardium. It’s a bit larger than a person’s fist and holds 7 to 15 ounces of blood. If it’s healthy, the adult heart pumps about 5 quarts of blood every minute or 1,800 gallons of blood every day… 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, 30 days a month, 12 months a year, for 70-plus years. So, 5 quarts times 60 minutes times 24 hours times 30 days times 12 months times 70 years equals 45,360,000 gallons in 70 years.

We get our water from a 14-year-old well and a well like the one at our house is expected to last about 15 years. But I’m hoping we can get another 14 years out of it… and it only runs part-time. So, it’s my, almost a lifetime of fascination with the workings of the human body, that fuels my belief in a God who created us and loves us.

There is another meaning for “heart.” We’re told to love God with our heart, soul, and mind. The mind would be our intellect; we are to study the Bible to learn about God and, through science, learn everything we can about this world in which we live. The soul would be the part of us that relates to God as our Creator; we’re to praise and worship God and spend time with him in prayer. So what is the “heart?”

The author of the Torah says, “The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.” (Deuteronomy 30:6) The “heart” in the Bible is the seat of “inaccessible” things. It denotes the “heart of the matter” or the “root of things.” It’s the center of emotions and morals and intellectual and even spiritual activities, all of which control our physical activities.

If the body decides to take control of what we do, we’re in trouble. The Bible calls it sin… giving into the earthly part of our lives.

We’re designed with the body subject to the heart (and the mind and the soul) so that we can become generous and moral and selfless and compassionate… “having a heart.”