I have long loved the image of Saint John’s head resting on Jesus’ heart at the Last Supper. (Am I obsessed with Saint John? Maybe a little bit. Read more of my thoughts on him here and here.) When I pray with that image, I can’t help but wonder: What did Jesus’ heartbeat sound like? Was it thundering? Was it always at rest? Was it gentle?
And then I’m hit with the reasonable yet sensational reality that His heartbeat sounded just like mine and yours. Yes, tucked into the deepest part of ourselves is an echo of the beat to which our Savior lived. He left us a metronome for our days. He gave us His rhythm.
To live in step with that rhythm is one of my most frequent prayers. How can we live with a pace that allows Him space to enter into our days? Our modern schedules are rarely places where His rhythm finds welcome. Back-to-back meetings, looming deadlines, and hurried chores all make it easy to rush through our day with the promise of a moment of rest during the evening as our goal. Or maybe days spent cooped up inside have left us lethargic, slow to act, and resistant to new adventures.
But a healthy, beating heart makes evident a call to something different. A healthy heart is not hurried. It is steady. A healthy heart does not skip a beat. Just so, we are made to take in the beginning, middle, and end of our days with equal importance. Yes, to live His rhythm means to walk steadily through the rise and fall of our days.
Coming to college was the first time I was faced with the chance to determine my own schedule. Of course, I have to attend classes and go to work even when I don’t feel much like doing so, but I get to decide how to spend my mornings, evenings, and in-betweens. In this time of learning what it is that keeps me feeling steady (it’s different for everyone!), I am unspeakably grateful for Saint Isidore’s. Starting my morning with Adoration in the chapel, stopping in for fellowship during the afternoon, and ending each day with Mass at 9:09 p.m. have made His rhythm a tangible reality in my own life. You, too, can rest assured that He is always waiting to meet you in prayer, the sacraments, and intentional time with others (at Saint Isidore’s or wherever you may be) and to reset your rhythm with the metronome of His heart.
Below is an original poem - a fruit of meditating on His heartbeat (it’s essentially what I’ve mentioned above, but in words I like a little better.) As you read, I invite you to imagine what it might be like to place your ear on Jesus’ chest and hear the life that flows within Him!
I think an ear to His heart
Might sound something like the sunrise.
The beginning of things almost
Imperceptible because of its gentleness
Framed by the drama of the Fall
And the promise of eternity.
He somehow brings alive the space between the two
Like the glory of a day.
Not only a beginning and an end,
But a glorious middle, too.
We must learn this rhythm
And dance with Him in the space between:
Sunrise and sunset
Today and tomorrow
Now and forever.
Kathryn Hurd is a senior studying strategic communications and anthropology at K-State. She's a maker, a walker, a butterfly-spotter, and a lover of a good children's book. You can read more of her words, ramblings, and random interests here.