One of my very best friends had a heart attack the other day. And that’s not funny. In fact, it was about as serious a life event as one could ever go through. You’ve heard the saying, “I’m serious as a heart attack.” Well, this was serious.
Some said the heart attack was “minor.” A heart attack is only “minor” if it’s not happening to you. It’s serious.
Having said that, when I visited my friend in the hospital, we laughed. And laughed. And laughed. Following his procedure, he was feeling better than he had in months. He almost couldn’t contain his excitement. The day he had the heart attack just happened to be his birthday. He said that his new lease on life was the best birthday present he could have received. He said and did things that made the three of us in the room with him laugh extremely hard. As a pastor, I’ve been in many, many hospital rooms over the years. I have never laughed in a hospital room as hard as I did that day.
It was a funny couple of hours.
But there was something that made the day poignant, as well. What impressed me more than anything else was that my friend, having just had a heart attack and gone through a cardiac catheterization, was seemingly more concerned about other people than he was about himself. He got on the phone there in his hospital bed planning, making arrangements, and feeling badly for people who would be negatively impacted by his inability to do certain things over the next few days and weeks.
Attack or not, the guy has a heart. He lives the Christian life. He knows that loving and serving God means loving and serving people right here on earth. He doesn’t just say it. He lives it.
His is a forgiven heart (as are yours and mine). And a forgiven heart is a giving heart. Forgiveness fuels hearts to do what God calls and enables them to do.
A heart attack is nothing to joke about. But when the heart of a giving person attacks others with love, the world is changed. That’s the kind of heart attack that can bring smiles, joy, and laughter.
When have you seen someone make the best of a difficult situation and show great heart?