The Intersection of the Head and Heart

Stethoscope and Medical ChartI have low blood pressure–really low. Which means I often feel light-headed when I stand (especially, say, after a marathon bout of novel-reading slouched in a big, comfy chair). No big deal, I’m used to it.

Every once in a while it’s dramatic enough that I have to stop a second and wait for my heart to pump sufficient blood to my head. If necessary, I can always lean forward so that my head is on the same level as my heart, facilitating the process.

Which made me think about how, so often in life, problems come when my head and my heart aren’t in the same place. I know I should exercise, but my heart isn’t in it. I long to share my faith in a meaningful way, but I over think it and get it all wrong.

Deuteronomy 11:18 – “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.”

Maybe that right there is the crux of the problem. There are ideas from God’s word that are ingrained in my heart–be kind, love people, honor God above all else, pray often, rely on God rather than myself–and so on. But I’d be hard pressed to cite the scripture in support of those. Oh, I can go on-line and stumble around until I find it (hence Deuteronomy above), but I don’t know it.

Then there’s the stuff fixed in my mind. I can recite the Lord’s Prayer. I’ve memorized the 23rd Psalm. There are bits and pieces of scripture–snippets that I can pull out if I try. But all too often those bits I have committed to memory become exercises in head knowledge and the meaning doesn’t make it to my heart.

The Lord IS  my shepherd. I need to take that in rather than focusing on what comes next. Now don’t stumble, someone might think you don’t really have it down. It’s like talking to someone and thinking so much about what you’re about to say that you mostly miss what’s being said.

My head and my heart are inextricably connected. Thank God. I’m reminded of it every time I stand up and have to wait for my heart to send blood to my brain. It’s a good reminder that I need to work to keep those two communicating–feeling and knowing, loving and processing–together.


Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

6 thoughts on “The Intersection of the Head and Heart

  1. I don’t worry about my head and heart acting in sync; being nicknamed Mongo, I don’t pay the head too much heed anyway. Except that I have used my head as a hammer, to drive wooden wedges into formwork for concrete when hanging from scaffolding. Really.

    It’s much more useful to have the heart act in concert with the hand. Seeing a need, it isn’t enough to discern what Jesus would do – we have to try to do it. Sometimes with an open hand, and sometimes with a fist. (I once convinced a fellow to treat his child better, and not whack the kid to his knees in public. But he was signing his name left-handed for awhile. I’m not sorry.)

    I don’t know much Scripture. I don’t see a point, because so often it comes down to giving out “Scriptural Sound Bites”. Reminds me of dinners at Cambridge where people with an excess of education and time have “Shakespearean tag” contests…last one to correctly quote, wins.

    Sometimes it seems that Christianity is coming to this. People – smart people – are abandoning the story for the quick “fix-it” chapter and verse.

    I think we need to get back to the story. The heart, working through the hand.

    The Sacred Heart, working through the nail-scarred Hand.

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