Pop Pop Epistle # 85 – Happy Birthday Audrey (and About My Heart Transplant)
I’m pretty sure that name does not mean anything to you or to anybody else who might be reading this. But it is a pretty significant name in history.
Back on December 3, 1967, Mr. Washkansky, a 53 year old South African grocer who was dying from chronic heart disease, received the first human heart transplant. The surgery was performed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town South Africa. It was a successful surgery but unfortunately he died 18 days later from double pneumonia.
Perhaps you already know this baby girl, but when I was 17 years old I had a successful heart transplant. And 44 years later I am more alive than ever. My heart had been diseased from the inside out and corrupted by sin and I was dying a slow miserable death physically but was already dead spiritually and far far from God. Ephesians 2:4-5 describes best what God did to give me a new lease on life (I have personalized the verses):
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved me, 5 even when I was dead in my trespasses, made me alive together with Christ—by grace I have been saved!
Unfortunately my dear Audrey, you have the same kind of heart disease that I had and you also are going to need a transplant. God is going to have to give you a new heart. In Ezekiel 36:26, the Lord explains it like this to his people: “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh”
My prayer for you is that you will joyfully accept God’s gracious offer to give you a new heart and that you will gratefully join me as a transplant recipient who now lives each day experiencing life as God created me too.
Never forget that you are very loved!