The Heart Of The Matter

So I haven’t written much about Elise the last couple of weeks because since a lot of y’all know what happened, I almost feel like if I mention her at all on the blawg I have to be all solemn-like and refer to her as Elise-one-of-my-best-friends-whose-husband-just-died.

Which practically rolls off of the tongue. And CERTAINLY is what she prefers to be called.

But the truth of the matter is that this morning I had a delightful exchange of emails with Elise-one-of-my-best-friends-whose-husband-just-died and several other friends. The whole thing started because Melanie wanted to know if anyone was planning to be in Baton Rouge for the MSU / LSU game in September, and well, yes I am, but as Melanie pointed out, the game is at 11 in the morning in THE HOTTEST PLACE ON EARTH, and quite frankly I’m not sure my delicate constitution (ahem) can handle that kind of heat, not to mention the scorching power of a thousand fiery suns.

Long story long, I ended up emailing the girls a tale of a long and pointless – though somewhat entertaining – dream I had about Elise last night, and suffice it to say that the dream reveals a great deal about the state of my (admittedly disturbed) mind, the history of our friendship, not to mention the deep and lasting emotional scars that are, I feel, a direct result of prolonged exposure to and experimentation with the fashions of the late 1980’s.

And the dream made E. laugh. That’s a mighty good thing.

So anyway. Our email exchange was a great way to start the day, and right before lunchtime I got another email from E., one I assumed had something to do with All The Wackiness of the morning. But instead, it was a story that will get forwarded and FW: and Fwd: until it’s just worn out, bless its heart. But because it came from Elise-one-of-my-best-friends-whose-husband-just-died, and because she hasn’t been emailing very much lately, I paid attention. I read the story.

And after I finished it, I knew exactly why she sent it:

“Tomorrow morning,” the surgeon began, “I’ll open up your heart…”

“You’ll find Jesus there,” the boy interrupted.

The surgeon looked up, annoyed. “I’ll cut your heart open,” he continued, “to see how much damage has been done…”

“But when you open up my heart, you’ll find Jesus in there,” said the boy.

The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat quietly. “When I see how much damage has been done, I’ll sew your heart and chest back up, and I’ll plan what to do next.”

“But you’ll find Jesus in my heart. The Bible says He lives there. The hymns all say He lives there. You’ll find Him in my heart.”

The surgeon had had enough. “I’ll tell you what I’ll find in your heart. I’ll find damaged muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels. And I’ll find out if I can make you well.”

“You’ll find Jesus there too. He lives there.”

The surgeon left.

The surgeon sat in his office, recording his notes from the surgery: “…damaged aorta, damaged pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration. No hope for transplant, no hope for cure. Therapy: painkillers and bed rest. Prognosis…” – and here he paused – “…death within one year.”

He stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said.

“Why?” he asked aloud. “Why did You do this? You’ve put him here; You’ve put him in this pain; and You’ve cursed him to an early death. Why?”

The Lord answered and said, “The boy, My lamb, was not meant for your flock for long, for he is a part of My flock, and will forever be. Here, in My flock, he will feel no pain, and will be comforted as you cannot imagine. His parents will one day join him here, and they will know peace, and My flock will continue to grow.”

The surgeon’s tears were hot, but his anger was hotter. “You created that boy. He’ll be dead in months. Why?”

The Lord answered, “The boy, My lamb, shall return to My flock, for He has done his duty: I did not put My lamb with your flock to lose him, but to retrieve another lost lamb.”

The surgeon wept.

Later, the surgeon sat beside the boy’s bed; the boy’s parents sat across from him. The boy awoke and whispered, “Did you cut open my heart?”

“Yes,” said the surgeon.

“What did you find?” asked the boy.

“I found Jesus there,” said the surgeon.

I cried a whole bunch when I read that.

I think it’s one of the sweetest things I’ve ever read.

And E., I love you very much.

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  1. Beautiful!! Elise, I love you too!!!

  2. Okay…crying at my desk.

    Glad to hear you were able to make Elise laugh today. Boo, she is certainly blessed to have a friend like you!

  3. The faith of a child… the love of a Father.

    Great reminder. Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. What a sweet story! It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  5. What a special story, no wonder it gets forwarded.

  6. Read that before, but needed it again today.

    Thanks for sharing with my (ahem) delicate constitution. ;-)

  7. Can’t say anything, crying too hard and this say’s it all and Elise has great comfort in Jesus, how evident it is. What a mighty God we serve.

  8. Wow, what a story. And WOW that Elise could see, with faith, God’s sovereignty thru the pain of all she’s been through. You are indeed a beautiful friend to encourage your friend thru her pain. She indeed is a beautiful friend to glorify God thru her walk everyday….and what a legacy she will pass on to her children. I am blessed to look into this window and see ya’ll. Thanks and may God bless your faithfulness.

  9. Oh, and I meant to say, if you haven’t seen the Dash movie, it’s worth seeing, especially after seeing how Elise is living in the dash…and how Paul lived in the dash while he was here….go to

  10. Sweet. We often find Jesus through another’s pain.

  11. I have seen that one before and it is indeed very beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Crying in the kitchen–I’d heard the story, but not the last half, which makes it SO much better:)

  13. “not to mention the deep and lasting emotional scars that are, I feel, a direct result of prolonged exposure to and experimentation with the fashions of the late 1980’s.”
    This is why I love your writing. I laughed out loud and then 10 seconds later was all teary at the sweet story that Elise forwarded.

  14. Yep, what Big Mama said.

    I’ve read that story before, and I have to say it’s one of the best. One of the very few worth forwarding.

    God bless you both!

  15. How great to see something being forwarded that doesnt ask me to send it to my 99 friends so it wont stop the chain and its a bunch of gobbledygoo at best. Wonderful, wonderful, and worthy of forwarding (I don’t say that about much!)

  16. What a great reminder of what this time on earth is really about. And praise God that He would remind E of that as she continues to mourn the loss of her husband.

  17. What a wonderful story, I never read that one. I wept too.

  18. Lea Margaret says:

    I just don’t know what to say…..

  19. That is beautiful. I hope you don’t mind but I will be sending it around to some friends. As for the LSU game, my sister is married to Artie C. who was a kicker for state in the 80’s. Anyway, he has always told us that LSU is one of the hardest places for State to play. We have never been there. The fans are tough and the heat is miserable. However, we will be at the opening game next Thurs. when they play South Carolina, Lord willing. I just hope it’s not another miserable season. Although, my husband says I go for the socializing rather than the game and he is right.LOL

    GET OUT OF TOWN! I cannot tell you how many memories I have of him kicking…what a small world. His kick against Ole Miss in the ’83 Egg Bowl was the first real heartbreak I ever knew as a football fan. He’s a Miss. State legend. :-)

    Edited By Siteowner

  20. that is beautiful. what do doctors know, anyways?

  21. Oh, that is so touching…God works in mysterious ways. :)

  22. Thanks for sharing that. I have seen it before too, but I needed it again!

  23. Oh, I LOVE this story. I’ve read it before and it makes me cry EVERY SINGLE TIME.

    Interestingly enough – I’ve visited your blog twice. The first time was to read the story about your dear friend who had just lost her husband. This is the second time. Both times, I leave in tears. I’m starting to think you ought to change your name to “Boo-Hoo Mama.”

  24. I cry everytime I read that and today is no exception!

  25. I’ve read that before, but this one was more eloquently written and did bring a tear to my eye. Thanks for sharing that.

  26. Oh man, I’m sitting here crying too. That was lovely.

  27. I love to hear God Whispers through the words of others, Just a great Healing method He Has……….New Comer….Sonja Brooks

  28. Just beautiful. sniff-sniff. I can’t imagine who comes up with something like this but they must have had a first hand experience.

  29. I just love that story! Thanks for sharing!!

  30. This makes me cry each time I read it. It hits a bit too close to home for me on some days, but it also serves as a reminder of who is really in control, and the love that He has for us.

  31. LU2 Boo :)