Thank you Terri for letting me share this.

Hidden Heartbeats

Knowledge absorbed by the mind is fickle. Sometimes it stays, sometimes it fades. Knowledge that descends from the mind, down into the heart, remains forever. It takes root and changes lives.

Heart knowledge doesn't have to be earth shattering to be profound. A simple change in perception - seeing something through the eyes of the heart instead of the eyes of the mind - can alter the way you look at yourself, look at others or look at the world in general.

The grandest and the simplest of my life's lessons have come from the heart.

My heart taught me that a cemetery is only a scary place until someone you love is laid to rest. It then becomes a place of quiet tasks - grass clippings brushed from a headstone, flowers arranged and rearranged. It becomes a place where you leave the world at the gates and devote time to tender memories.

My heart taught me that the lifeblood of my country isn't the rights and freedoms I enjoy. It is the heart I see in the weeping eyes of our Veterans on Remembrance Day. It is the cost exacted from their souls for love of the land I am privileged to call home.

My heart taught me that every generation has its heroes. They aren't found on the television or movie screen, on the radio or in major sports. Heroes are busy, away from the limelight, doing what heroes do best - putting others before themselves. From the major cities and quiet hamlets in the industrialized world, to the most desolate and destitute places on earth, there are heroes to be found. All we have to do - to find them - is stop looking in the wrong places.

My heart taught me that loneliness has nothing to do with being by myself and everything to do with filling a God-shaped hole in the center of my being. Some of my loneliest experiences have been in the presence of other people.

My heart taught me that puppy kisses and hugs from small children can heal a whole lot of hurt.

My heart taught me that I catch on 'real quick' and suddenly 'get it', when a lesson I've refused to learn is repeated in the lives of my children.

My heart taught me to stop hatred, fear, disrespect and prejudice at the front door of my home. I can't stop all the ugliness in the world, but I can create a safe haven for the hearts and souls of my family, by refusing the ugliness entrance into my home.

My heart taught me that trying to change people is best left in God's hands. They will fall into every pothole they refuse to go around and hit every wall they willingly run toward, regardless of how much I want to save them from suffering through the consequences of their actions. I can help pick up their broken pieces in the aftermath, but God can use their self inflicted pain to help them make better choices in the future.

My heart taught me that my own personal happiness is my own personal responsibility. Putting that responsibility on someone else's shoulders is unfair. The burden is heavy. It's also unrealistic. No one was put on earth for the sole purpose of making me happy.

My heart taught me that compassion isn't a gift I can give to someone's heart. It is a gift of spirit I can only grow in my own heart. I can plant seeds, but I can't make someone care about the hungry, the lonely or the oppressed people in the world around them. My efforts only make them pretend to care when I'm around them.

My heart taught me that walking out the church door is the holiest moment of a Sunday morning service. Either I take the message with me and make it part of my life, or I leave it in the sanctuary, tucked away till the following Sunday morning.

My heart taught me that time worn advice doesn't always wear out. The old adage to remember the sun when it's raining and remember the rain when the sun is shining, contains more wisdom than many modern day theories and philosophies.

My heart taught me that missing someone is a very real ache. It comes from a place where another heart has touched my own and left a permanent imprint.

My heart taught me that birth really is a miracle. A new baby, fresh from heaven, is a new chance, for a new heart, to bring new light into this old world.

Hidden heartbeats hold threads of wisdom that forever lie inside of me and forever lie inside of you.

2003 Terri McPherson
Email: terri@wisehearts.com

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