The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


An enlarged heart

We find new life in the rhythm of death and resurrection

A gaggle of neighborhood children who had attended our church for some months were put into foster care after their parents’ friend shook one of them. While they were in foster care, the children’s mother died—of an enlarged heart, we were told.

I don’t know what an “enlarged heart” is, medically speaking. I picture St. Paul Cathedral in London when I think of an enlarged heart. Attending Easter service there several years ago, I closed my eyes and listened to the organist playing undulating arpeggios as myriad feet shuffled up and down every aisle.

It sounded to me like blood moving inside a giant heart. The communicants were like blood cells pumped along tight capillaries to the altar in need of new life. After communing, they, the blood, squeezed back into place. I imagined the strain on a human heart if it sustained a comparable amount of flow.

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March issue

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