CHAPTER 1 – LIVING ALERT – How To Hear A Heart Drop
What is a heart drop? Have you ever heard that phrase? I had not until Karen Ehman introduced it to us in her book, Listen, Love, Repeat. She is introducing this girl to a whole lot of stuff in ways I have failed to see in the past. A small group leader shared that phrase with Karen and her husband.
A heart drop is “when a person either directly, or in a cryptic way, gives you a peek into his or hers heart. It may be through actual words, or you may pick up on a feeling, perhaps sadness or loneliness.”
Karen began Chapter 1 telling us about how she had listened to a heart drop of a friend. Karen picked up during a conversation about a time in her friend’s life when she had felt significant and safe. Her friend had a reading disability. When she was at her grandmother’s house there was a book she could read well cover to cover. Karen listened and was excited for her friend’s birthday. She went on to E-Bay and bid on that antique book and got it for her friend. That’s a heart drop. It is an art Karen tells us in listening and loving others.
Karen never had a slumber party. Her mother was single, working and she never had a friend spend the night. Her hubby told her to get ready to go out and her hubby had invited her 3 best friends. They kidnapped her and her husband had pulled off a party for 30 friends. He had heard that heart drop.
Have you noticed how obsessed our culture is with me, me, me? Karen Ehman reminded us this week that we have forgotten the joy that comes when we put others before ourselves. Do you find yourself doing that whether it be on-line, in your to-do list, in your phone conversations, at work, at home with your loved ones, with your neighbors (do you even know them) and even at church and other areas of your life? Shouldn’t it be more about Him, less of me? Shouldn’t it be more of Jesus, then others, then me?
Think about this one. Karen says we are seduced by “selfie-centered living”. It’s all about pictures we post on-line, what we are doing, what we are wearing, what we are eating, where we are going, and on and on and on. She says “at every turn we seem to care about only one thing: “What’s in it for me.”
We were reminded how many “old-fashioned virtues” have disappeared. I was reminded what a sweet man I am married to who always opens the door not only for me but others too. I don’t take for granted how he opens the car door for me, and how he opens doors wherever we go. It used to bother me seeing him stand and let a dozen people in behind me while I stand waiting. Now he opens, I go in and if there are two doors I let those folks go ahead. Do you “give a helping hand”? Do you “look out for others?” Do you say thank you? We do.
What would Jesus do (WWJD)? “Jesus was never too busy to notice. He lived alert. He could be among a crowd of thousands and yet focus in on one weary soul who needed a look, a word, or a touch from him.” “Jesus wasn’t about doing big things. He was about doing the right thing. And often for him, the right thing was noticing one simple soul.” Have you, my friend, stopped to notice one simple soul today? Do you live alert?
Karen shared with us her “magnetic kitchen island” and how when they were looking for a house that was her desire. Her island is a magnet for others and pulls so many duties during celebrations and holidays. She reminded us to open our lives so that we can sacrificially celebrate holidays, holy days, and the everyday because it gives us opportunities to serve.
Jesus noticed. He took time to heal a common woman who had been bleeding. Just a simple touch from her and immediately it stopped. Jesus took the time to meet her need even in a big crowd.
As Karen talked about “ordinary holiness”, I not only reflected on my savior, but my husband. Karen talked about a friend “who loved his friends, his community, his family, and his God. A man who knew how to hear a heart drop. And not just hear it, but respond.” Also, “but he gave quietly” , and “quietly serving the person standing in front of him. With an audience of only One.” That’s my man.
We are here to have a relationship with our Father who created us, and we should take every opportunity to point others to Him. Everything we do should point others to Him, not me, me, me.
Five ways that Karen reminds us to live alert:
- Pray each day
- Take notes: mental ones and sticky ones. Keep a small notebook in your purse, notes app on your phone, sticky notes, etc.. When you hear someone talk about an interest, write it down – birthday, favorite childhood toy, sports team they root for, a deceased’s birthday. Plan to do something for them when the days rolls around.
- Pay attention to special dates. Surgery, sports tryouts, offer on a new house. Pray for those situations.
- Start stalking. Check out their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts. Look for patterns – likes and obsessions and find ways to encourage and surprise them.
- Be a smart shopper. Stock an arsenal of affection, stock-piling items that will be useful as you share love with others.
CHAPTER 2 – FIND YOUR WHY
Karen started this chapter with a new term for me – summum bonum. It’s meaning is the highest good. She was writing a paper in college and decided that she would write about relationships. She decided that nothing was more important in life than people. How about you? Is it really people or are things more important to you than people? One thing I’ve learned myself the older I get is it truly is people. Things will rot, things will be blown away by tornadoes, things will burn, things end – memories with people do not.
Her mentor, Pat led her to the Lord and shared the two reasons why we are on earth – have a relationship with our creator who offers us a place in heaven and to tell other people about Him so they can go to Heaven. Relationships with our family members, friends, co-workers even those we meet only a few moments and even relationships our enemies.
Jesus performed miracles – He healed the bleeding woman, He healed a demon possessed man. Immediately the bleeding stopped. He healed, He was alert, and as Karen said, “he didn’t Instagram it.” Even when peopled crowded around He noticed, and we are reminded that when people and projects bid our attention that we Jesus is calling us to stop and notice and give a special touch to that one person who might need some cheering up.
Often it seems like Jesus was going to be these big grand things, but for Jesus ministry usually was the person standing right in front of Him.Not the big thing he was going to do but the person standing right in front of them
Who is in front of you longing for you to notice them. We have to start making relationships our big why. We value possessions over people or maybe it’s a position or popularity among our circle of friends. About a year ago she spent 3 weeks in a hospice with her SIL after a battle with breast cancer and bone cancer. She never talked about the things they accumulated, the big house, the cars. Her sister-in-law asked her to tell her about the time we were kids and the boat turned over, her son in a Christian rock band. It was about people, not things.
Matthew 5:14-16 you are the light of the world.
“If you want to find your big why you have to lose it. In order to bring joy to yourself first you need to be concerned with bringing joy to others. The reason God brought us to earth in the first place was to have a relationship with him so we will enjoy him forever in heaven and take other people with us. We want to be a mirror that lets his light shine so that he gets all the glory.”
Karen shared with us when she got away to write in the quiet at a friend’s home without distractions, and how a neighbor working in the yard kept coming over and interrupting. She reminded us that “often interruptions, especially of the people sort, are God’s agenda for our day. Sometimes we get caught up in what we think is big ministry like writing a Bible study but most often for Jesus true ministry was the person standing right in front of him.”
Is someone standing in front of you today? Would you even notice if they were?
Our Bible verse this week reminded us why we should let our lights shine. I’ve done it using the KJV.
Heart Drop photo designed using Pixelscrapper and Canva.
Max Lucado quote photo used free Canva photo.
Matthew 5:16 – Personal photo taken at Billy Graham Rooms