I sweat when I workout. I do not “glisten” or “perspire,” I SWEAT. The level of moisture I was sopping off my face with a towel during my time at the gym was not a surprise. It was an extra “good” workout. That is what my friend and workout buddy called it…apparently “good” is another way of saying extra long, hard and grueling. Our trainer, Sara, is much too enthusiastic about her job.
So, there we were, working hard and dutifully following the directions of our tormentor/trainer when suddenly I heard Sara gasp. “Teri! You have a heart on your shirt!” she exclaimed. Yep, that wonderful sweat I mentioned earlier managed to pool down my spine and soak into my shirt forming a perfect heart shape on my back the size of a small dinner plate.
Suddenly, I was getting way too much attention as everyone, including another trainer in the room, wanted to see it for themselves. I suppose I should be thankful it was the shape of a heart and not the face of the Virgin Mary or Jesus, as that would have solicited even more looks and notoriety. It did not take long for us to come up with numerous comments, all worthy of eye rolling: “you sure wear your heart on your shirt.” “You’re such a SWEAT heart”, “my heart sweats for you” and so forth..
It was a brief event. The workout session ended. The heart eventually evaporated away. The shirt has been washed, dried, folded, and put away. My sweaty heart faded quickly, but it has had a lasting impact on my thoughts lately.
Sometimes, we think what is in our heart is as plain as the sweat soaked image displayed on by back that day. We hope others can see God’s love in us, a reflection of His grace. However, just as the sweaty image was fleeting, so is our ability to always do the right thing. We try to be the person God calls us to be, but in our own effort, we find failure. It is only when we rely on Him and His grace that we will find the ability to reflect His love.
I’m not sure if I would actually want what was in my heart so clearly displayed for all to see. How would others react to what would appear on my shirt? How would I react to the visualization of the truth of my heart? What if everything we thought and felt actually presented itself symbolically on our attire throughout the day? Honestly, I think I would spend A lOT if time asking people who saw it to forgive me.
Matthew 12: 35 reminds us,
“A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things; an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
This week, I am searching my heart and looking to Him.
“Search me O God, and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts, see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24