But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:20-21 (NIV)
My house is a wreck, but I feel better physically. The chest tightness and heart palpitations are almost completely gone and that sharp stabbing pain starting on the left side of my neck and moving down to my rib cage hasn’t reoccurred in several weeks. I’m not a medical doctor, but I have a couple of theories. One is that the leak might have been soaking my house with water and mold for much longer than we thought. The wet carpet that morning was only the sign of a much deeper problem. The entire concrete slab was already saturated before we felt the first drop. Now that the mold is gone, so are my symptoms. But, I had another thought yesterday while I was undergoing a nuclear stress test of my heart. For those of you who have never had that experience, it involves radioactive material injected into your veins. Then, you sit for 40 minutes as it makes its way to your heart. After your heart begins to glow, you lie on your back underneath a big machine that goes around your chest and head moving side to side for 15 minutes as it takes 3D images of your heart. After that, you get another injection of more dye, wait another 40 minutes, then, do a stress test after being harnessed into many electrodes that monitor your heart and walk on a treadmill for another 20-30 minutes. Following a third injection of dye, you enter the MRI machine again to see what exercise does to your heart. In all, the three hour process gave me plenty of time to read my Kindle in the waiting room and think while under the machines. And what I wondered about was what it would be like if they could really see my heart. Not just the physical one that beats and pumps blood through my veins, but my real heart. The one that loves. Would they see images of my husband of thirty years? My children? My family and friends? My church family? My coworkers? Would they see my Guatemalan boy, Billy? Would they see my horse and my dogs? Would they see my house or my stuff? Girl Scout cookies? Christmas decorations? What would they see if they could really see my heart? Then, I began to think perhaps this chest pain I was experiencing was simply my heart stretching to accommodate all that I love. Fifteen months ago, I would never have dreamed that I would care so deeply about those Guatemalan children. Who would have imaged that I will soon have three mission trips on my passport and am planning a ministry to feed hungry children in my own neighborhood? I would have laughed to think I am contemplating a mission trip to another country, far away, around the other side of the world. Did I even care then? I have learned to love in a way I never thought possible. Maybe it is not heart disease after all. Maybe it is only growing pains.