“Set me as a seal upon your heart…for love is strong as death…” – Song of Solomon 8:5-6
I was sitting in a hospital room, talking with a member of my church about the new (well, new to her, anyway) kidney that was just then firing up inside her. We were talking gratitude and miracles, because what else is there to discuss two days after a successful organ transplant?
She told me a story her transplant surgeon had told her about a mother whose teenage son had been killed in an accident and whose organs had been donated to others. The man who received his heart wanted to thank her in person, and so they arranged to meet. She showed up at the meeting with a stethoscope, so that she could hear her son’s heart beat again.
I wanted to know more, so I Googled it later. I couldn’t find my parishioner’s story—but only because I couldn’t tell which one of the many I found was hers. Apparently, this happens all the time. It’s a thing. Pull out the tissues and check out stories here and here and here. There are more.
I just can’t stop watching those videos. Maybe I should worry that this is a little too schadenfreudey or emotionally manipulative or something. But the truth is that each one basically feels like a different version of the same gorgeous sermon.
Come, God, come. Bring your stethoscope, and listen for your son’s heart beating in me. Don’t let me reject this transplant, and let me make this second chance worth it. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is the Pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, Syracuse, New York. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.