It happens to me often.
Lying in bed in the dark and quiet, usually at the end of a long day, perfectly still for the first time in hours–it catches my attention.
Badum. Badum. Badum.
It’s my heart. Beating. Steady rhythm and buried. When I look closely, I can see it pulsing underneath the skin.
And then I’m focused on the labor of my breath, filling my lungs with oxygen and letting the air out again, and then a deeper breath, and quicker because I’m giving it thought, listening to see if my heart changes its pace. I get a closed-in feeling–I press my wrist to feel the pulse there, and can I feel it near my throat? Mostly it’s the boom in my chest and it causes my upper body to slightly flinch each time. Surely it’s not beating like this throughout the day.
My mind races–but, it is, actually, beating like this throughout the day. Badum. Badum. Badum. Over and over and over again. For hours, and days, and weeks, and maybe even for eighty years it will beat like this. And then I’m all heart. I’m waiting for it to stop suddenly, because the idea that a heart can beat constant through my hours straight of sleep and my doubled over laughing and my rolling eyes and my running late and my stressed out–the idea that it can do that, with no effort from me, is too much for me to really grasp. Badum. Badum. Badum. Can a heart be humbling?
Lying there, listening to my heart beat, the heart that will keep me alive until it doesn’t anymore, I have to let go. Earlier, I might have been wanderer or mistake-maker or complainer or doubter, but in that moment I am awed by the created, and God, I am thankful. Thankful for a heart that beats.