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.
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.
* * * * *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. * * * * *