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Hearts and Scars

Hearts . . .


Hearts are in every shop window, but in two weeks a new display will be hung.


Hearts shout at us from every magazine, newspaper, blog, and TV show, but soon they’ll be relegated to the “trash” to make way for something new to catch our eye.


Heart-shaped pizzas, heart cookies?  They are consumed and then forgotten.

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Heart shapes in nature?  This snowy shape sheltered in a wind-blown nest is already buried in a drift.


Hearts sparkling from the jewelry counter?  Surely precious metals are more enduring than snow, but gold bands wear thin, and silver chains rupture at the weakest link.

Where can we find something of real permanence to speak to us–every single heart-beating day–the language of Love?

Maybe if we look to the heavens, there will be something more permanent like these nebulae (called Heart and Soul), but even nebulae are changing from and changing to.  They are the birthing and dying chambers of stars, and we only see a slice of their slow motion, life dance.

Where can we find a way to remind us of Love, to burn in our minds an unchanging icon that will tell us about a Love that last forever?

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The knife slipped as I was chopping cabbage for coleslaw, and I sliced my finger instead.  My daughter, who was beginning to learn the alphabet, recognized the shape of the curving red gash.  She said it looked like the first letter of her name:  a “J” written in flesh and blood.  A fine, white line is still visible.  Although the “J” was accidental, the scar does remind me of my beloved daughter.

One faint mark, that fades each year.

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In the Old Testament the garments of the High Priest were described in detail.

 Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a gem cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in gold filigree settings and fasten them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. Aaron is to bear the names on his shoulders as a memorial before the Lord.   Exodus 28:11, 12   NIV

Twelve names were engraved in gem stone. Twelve sons of Israel to be remembered by Aaron. Twelve reminders to the Lord of His beloved children. Twelve stones that can fracture or be lost or stolen.

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We need a living reminder of Love, one that can’t fade away.  We need a heart that speaks Love day after day, one that beats forever and never wears out. We need a Savior, the Savior who was crucified, hands and feet nailed to a cross, out of love for us.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5   NIV

Do you remember Isaiah’s prophetic words of a love that endures forever?

I have engraved you on the palms of my hands Isaiah 49:16   NIV

Engraving isn’t ink that fades. It isn’t a pale scar that dims with passing years. It’s not carving on a stone that can shatter.

Engraving is permanent.

We are engraved on Jesus’ two living hands.

Look closely, and you’ll see that the scars spell your name.


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Heart and Soul Nebulae photo by Leonardo Orazi.
Thanks to Mr. Orazi for allowing me to share this photo. You may view a high resolution image on Mr. Orazi’s site.
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linking with Jennifer Dukes Lee

Thankful 30: Day 26–Clenched Fists or Open Hands?

I have joined Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:

I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily

Day 26:  I’m thankful for my friend, Julie, and her artistry.

The photos below are of a triptych done in pastel.


“Attitudes of the Heart: 1 Closed” by Julie Saugstad

For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.   Matthew 13:15   NIV


“Attitudes of the Heart: 2 Reviving” by Julie Saugstad

For this is what the high and exalted One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

Isaiah 57:13   NIV


“Attitudes of the Heart: 3 Alive” by Julie Saugstad


“Attitudes of the Heart: 3 Alive” by Julie Saugstad

What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.  Romans 6:8-11   The Message


“Attitudes of the Heart: 1 Closed, 2 Reviving, 3 Alive” by Julie Saugstad

He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ.  Ephesians 2:5   The Message

See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.

* name changed

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