Courage,  Healing Series

Holding Hearts

Anesthesiologists settle and sedate. The sternum is sawed through. All kinds of intricate procedures are done for bypass. Many of the tools and sutures are tiny. From time to time when not passing instruments, sponges, or sutures, I was asked to “hold the heart.” When I mention this, people picture someone standing there with two hands and holding a human heart. But to actually hold the heart, I had to be able to squeeze between doctors and other assistants and put my left hand exactly where they needed it for the success of the surgery to continue. This is often for a crucial portion of time in the middle of an eight hour long period. Hand and arm cramps happen. Stiffness happens due to the ice cold temperature. Most of the time, I could not see the heart. I could only feel it. It was amazing. Getting the chance to touch something so far inside of humans- it was an opportunity I won’t forget. At 18 years old and my first experience at this, I drove home with a peaceful reverence and told my parents: “I got to hold a human’s heart!” The things that happened in the O.R. (Operating Room) was a world of its own.

Of course, this brings me to my Maker. The Master Surgeon. The Skilled Anesthetist. I know He cares about problems. I know He shows up for procedures. I know He wants to mend. I know He destined our healing. I know He plans recovery. There was never a time when heart holding that I did not feel positioned with perspective from the Creator. It takes courage to lie down and have your heart worked on! Knowing healing has already been accomplished through the work of Jesus at the cross. Today as I think about many many people and situations…as my own aches of the heart are within me, I ask HIM: “Would You hold the heart(s) today?”

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