Brain, Breath, Heart, and Body

heart drawing

The body is a beautiful thing.

Not only are people lovely, but the body itself is beautiful in form and function. Any anatomy and physiology class will tell you that it is at once mind-splittingly complex and gracefully elegant. We take each movement, each thought, and each breath for granted. So many generations of people have devoted their lives to learning more about the body, but we can also learn so much from the body.

For a healthy individual, movement is oftentimes subconscious. Even the unhealthy individual does not have to think about sending the electro-chemical impulses down specific neurons to the correct muscles in order to execute an action. However, every single action requires cells to work together. These cells need a constant supply of vital nutrients, such as oxygen, or they die off. These nutrients are supplied by blood pumped by the heart, which also clears away waste products toxic to the cell, such as carbon dioxide. But how does the heart know how to pump blood properly? The brain regulates it with a network of neurons and nervous impulses. Elegant, yet elementary.

What would happen if the heart stopped its job? Well, we all know that our poor hypothetical friend would die, but think about it. If the heart stops pumping, blood stops circulating and the cells no longer receive oxygen. Toxins build up, the cells die, as does the individual. Even if the brain continues to tell the heart to beat and the individual keeps breathing, the oxygen will not circulate if the heart does not play it’s part.

This seems so simple and obvious, but there are some incredible truths to be learned here! Take this same principle, and apply it to a Christian–hang with me! In James, there is a verse which states, “Faith without works is dead.” Remember the physical heart. If faith is the body, it must work or die, just as the heart must work or the body dies. Even if a person knows the truth (brain) and believes it (breath), they are at best gravely ill if they do not act it out (heart beat). Faith without works is unsustainable and unhealthy. Those works do not save a person (one cannot dig up a dead-man, insert electrodes into his heart, and bring him to life), but a person who is saved most surely has works giving evidence of life (movement).

I write these things not to be judgmental, but rather to share a revelation. That verse in James is one I am so guilty of glossing over and rationalizing, but when put in physical terms, I cannot deny it. I believe in God, and I believe I love God, but that should cause my heart to beat. My life should be full of movement, of works, which bear witness to the fact that I have LIFE. That life should multiply, not because I am better, worthy, or enlightened, but because I was once as dead as a decaying corpse, but have been given a new heart and a new life, and because the very same Doctor who gave me new life is more than able and desirous to give life to every dead man and woman.

For this reason, I will devote my life to Jesus Christ and let Him use the life He gave me to best share this good news.