Wearing Our Hearts Outside Our Bodies

I don’t know where the quote originated, but my friend recently reminded me that when we have children we walk with our hearts outside our bodies.

It’s a good quote. 

Think of the heart, the most important organ in our bodies. Our hearts make sure the rest of our cells and other vital organs get oxygen in order to function effectively. They are well protected behind skin, muscle and the strong bone barrier of our rib cage — it takes a bullet to get to our heart.

That’s the physical heart. That other heart, the heart that holds our love and emotion is not so well shielded. And with the coming of children the skin, muscle and rib cage are destroyed and we lose any semblance of protective covering; suddenly our hearts are on the outside of our bodies, vulnerable and exposed for all the world to see and hurt, taunt and discard.

This week my heart has been hurt, worried and a bit broken. While one son copes with a broken jaw, another is far away on his birthday and still another is packing up for college. The temptation to burst into tears at odd times is ever with me; those watery, salty drops at the ready. My heart is outside my body.

And I think that’s what happened with God when he decided that we, above all other animals, would be in relationship with him. He put his heart outside his body. He would hurt for us. He would rage at us. He would have compassion on us. And if that was not enough, when he decided to give us Jesus, his son, his heart was further outside his body.

The heart of God was outside his body. And we broke it.

Gone was any rib cage of protection. Gone was the skin and muscle that could guard. “My God, My God Why Have you forsaken me” echoed to the Heavens. The God of the universe had put his heart outside his body in the form of his beloved Son.

God wore his heart outside his body and all of life changed. It’s an amazing thought. It’s a good quote.