Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Blessed are the pure in heart

The heart surgeon was operating on an old woman. When he opened up her chest everyone in the theatre gasped as a bright light appeared to shine from her heart. The glow didn’t dim as he operated and was still there when he sewed her back up.

A few days later he called in to the ward to see how she was progressing. He examined her and pronounced her to be doing well. ‘You should be able to go home in a day or two,’ he said. He was about to move on to the next patient when he stopped and sat down on the chair next to the woman’s bed.

‘We had a surprise when we cut you open,’ he said.

‘Oh dear,’ the old woman looked concerned.

‘Oh, it’s nothing to worry about,’ he reassured her, ‘but it was unusual. Your heart,’ he paused, trying to find the right words, ‘your heart appeared to be shining brightly.’

‘Ah, I see,’ the old woman smiled.

‘You don’t seem very surprised?’

‘Well, I’m a Christian, aren’t I?’

The surgeon laughed, ‘You must be a very good Christian then. I’ve never seen a glowing heart before.’

‘What? Never?’ The old woman sounded surprised.

The surgeon glanced at the nurse doing the rounds with him. He seemed reluctant to speak but finally he admitted, ‘I have seen it before on occasion but never shining as brightly as yours. Like I said, you must be a very good Christian.’

‘Me? A good Christian. Oh, no, I’m a very bad Christian.’

He looked at the kindly old woman lying on the bed before him and said, ‘I find that hard to believe.’

‘In my life I’ve lied, I’ve gossiped, I’ve hurt people, I’ve made the wrong choices and done bad things. I’ve envied others and been jealous of what they have, I’ve cheated and been unwilling to forgive. Believe me, I’m a very bad Christian.’

The surgeon laughed again. ‘If you say so but how do you explain the shining heart then?’

‘Oh that’s not me, dear; that’s Jesus.’

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