Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thanksgiving Month, Day 13: Heart of Gold

What would you do if you were told by a surgeon that you had to choose between valves to repair your heart - and that there were pros and cons to either decision?

My friend Lyn was faced with this very decision not long ago. And now, this afternoon, she's in Edmonton, waiting to be called into surgery. She's already been put off for a couple of hours due to an emergency. So she waits.

What is it about hearts? We have the physical vessel, of course, very pragmatic and functional - until it's not. Consultations are made and serious discussions ensue about new valves, stents, bypasses, transplants.

Then we have the whole emotional side to that same vessel. When we feel alarmed or are with someone we are crushing on or even spot a dearly beloved face that we haven't seen for a while, the physical organ gets into the action by beating faster. When we break up with someone we love, our hearts are broken too. Neil Young summed it up in his anthem, "I've crossed the ocean for a heart of gold ..." It's what we all want, one other person's heart that speaks to our heart alone.

Then there's the spiritual side: the Psalmist of old asks, "Create in me a new heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me." And there's the promise of consolation: "The Lord is near to the broken hearted."

Our hearts are wrapped up in all that we do, in everything we are.

Those little valves are pretty important!

BA made an astute observation the other day: the heart is a pretty selfish organ. If it's not right, nothing in the body is right either.

Dave and Lyn
(picture scooped from
your FB!)
We go back to my friend Lyn. A more unselfish person you would be hard pressed to find. When her mother passed away in 2003, she was there for her father every weekend and even during the week. She makes a special effort to keep in touch with all branches of her considerable family, even travelling around the world to see them. When her father married again, she stepped up to the plate, helping in any way she could. And she heroically participated in the packing up and disposing of her father's old home - of her mother's, of her own, home - even though this made her heart ache with a wistful longing for what was and could no longer be.

Lyn with cousin Arlene (r),
who was one of my Mum's favourites
I have been the beneficiary of her friendship and I can attest firsthand to her great kindness both in word and in deed. I have often observed her in the tea house. Her tenderheartedness is manifest in how she cares for her Dad and Mary, how she is solicitous of her ageing aunt, how she looks to see if she can be helpful when I am swamped. She gives up her evenings when she can to come and sit in the purple chairs and have tea and conversation with me.

She is truly a friend of my heart.

And now her heart, which has caused her trouble since she was a baby, requires help, requires a new valve. 

So we who love her pray with all of our minds, our souls and, yes, our hearts, that this surgery will be easy; that the recovery will be smooth; and that her heart will once again beat strong for the wonderful person we all love so very much.


  1. praying tonight for lyn and her amazingly beautiful heart. i love how i get to know different people through your blog - such beauty in the many faces that come through your door.

    and those purple chairs - made me smile and get all teary-eyed as i pictured them in my head. so happy that they provide such a happy place of comfort to so many - and that so much of that comfort is met with you sitting across that table being Jesus to those you share tea with.

    praying for *your* heart this evening as well, dear friend.

    love to you.

  2. I find it difficult to conceive of anyone "giving up [an] evening" to sit in one of the purple chairs for tea and conversation with you.

  3. Thanks you lots too!

  4. Little Lyn, God bless you and keep you safe and fill your heart with the wonder of His big heart of love for you! Praying for you.

  5. Beautifully written, Karyn. Thanks for sharing this and our prayers will also be with Lyn

  6. thinking of lyn too, with love and prayers.


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