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It might be a shocker for some of you, but your heart isn’t really located on the left side of your chest.  It lies between the right and left lungs, in the middle of the chest and slightly towards the left of the breastbone.

 

However, I am fairly confident you are thinking, “What?  This is not what I was expecting from Derlene’s blog!”

 

Fair enough.  I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. (I hope you smiled at that statement!)   I am talking about the emotional heart: loving, kind, caring.  Can we change our heart?  Not physically, but certainly emotionally.  I am constantly being called to change.

 

This week I feel even deeper in love with humanity.  I met a young couple while out riding my bike.  They were riding tandem (bicycle built for two).  I very rarely stop while riding, but I had overdressed and needed to take a layer off.  They had stopped and backed up to see where a little path off the trail might lead them.  Of course, I said hello …

 

I asked them my favorite all time question, “What do you do to change the world?”  If you have never asked this question, I encourage you to do so.  Even the physical response you see in the person you ask is obvious.  The smile on Ester’s face when I asked her my question was beautiful.  She already had an amazing smile, bright eyes, and gentle demeanor.  This was noticed within thirty seconds of meeting her! 

 

Ester’s face lit up, almost glowing.  Her smile was even bigger than our exchange of hellos.  She told me she likes to make others smile and make them feel happy because life is good.  To bring joy to them.  Her boyfriend added, “That is not all about Ester, she is going to be published by John Hopkins in May!” 

 

I suspect Ester knows a bit about helping others find joy, helping them become safe, or whole.  I do not know the details of her work, our conversation was short.  However, from what I understood, Ester, who is from Kenya, has done research that resulted in some profound findings about rape and how women can protect themselves from being raped.  I have a lot of “unknowns” about her research but this, I can be sure:  her research will help many people understand the horrific culture of rape in the African continent (is it not true for all of us regardless of location?) and help many survivors or potential victims avoid being raped.  THIS YOUNG WOMAN IS CHANGING THE WORLD!

 

Her fiancĂ©e, David, is spectacular as well.  He is the director of a non-profit called, When the Saints.  Like, when the saints go marching in …  When The Saints is building a safe home in the country of Malawi, located in SE Africa, for girls who have been enslaved for sexual exploitation.  They provide them with physical, psychological, nutritional, vocational, emotional, and spiritual needs.  In other words, HOPE. 

 

If you have ever felt hopeless you understand what an amazing gift this young man and When The Saints is providing to a seemingly hopeless future for these girls.  I stand in awe of this young couple. 

 

How would my life be different had I not had this encounter?  Outwardly, I would have taken my jacket off, drank some water, and moved on.  I would have completed my bike ride and felt the wonderful benefits of being physically active.  I would have moved on to my next plan for the day.  Which, by the way, was cleaning my kitchen!

 

Instead, I am brought to a much higher awareness of the good humanity does for each other.  The many untold stories of lives being saved and changed forever.  Lives that now have hope!  Yes, my heart is changed forever because of the encounter of these two beautiful souls.  I am thankful for having met them. 

 

While talking to some friends about my meeting David and Ester, we shared how we miss so much by staying in our own little bubble.  How we walk right past the very person that can change our world.  How one conversation sets us on a new path.  How we miss those moments that can change our heart forever.

 

The book of Matthew (6:21) tells us:  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

What I treasure in my life is humanity.  It is interesting to me to pray this scripture and see how God has revealed to me a way to experience humanity.  Yes, my heart is on fire as I meet my 1200 people this year.  I could never have known it would be so inspiring, so life changing, life giving. 

 

My encouragement for you this week is to intentionally say hello to someone while you are standing in line at the store, exchange a hello.  Then, if you are feeling bold, ask them what they do to change the world.  Introvert friends, this is a great tool for you to use.  I have given you the words to use!  Extroverts (have you guessed, that’s me?), be mindful of time – theirs and yours – it flies by because your are so interested in learning and growing!  Be prepared, it is very likely to change your world as well! 

 

Have a phenomenal week everyone.  It is yours to live, so live it well!

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