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Bishop Deb's Dakotas Diary: The heart of God

By: Deborah Kiesey, interim bishop, Dakotas Conference

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I remember learning something a couple of years ago when I was helping to interview candidates for worship leader for General Conference.

A choral director shared with us that when a choir first comes together, every person’s heart beats at a different rate – and at their own unique rhythm.  But after a while, after focusing their thoughts and voices on the music, after singing together in the harmonies that bring out the beauty of the piece, those individual hearts begin to synchronize … until they beat as one.

Now, I haven’t a clue as to how this synchronization would happen physically, but I have no problem believing that God, in all God’s great wisdom, could create this amazing way of becoming “one” together.  The miracles of this created world surround me and continue to astound me, so this additional miracle of many hearts, beating as one is certainly not beyond my realm of belief.

I’ve been fascinated by that image—and I am intrigued by what that could mean.

What it means to me is this: God has created us to be so connected with one another that when we come together - to worship, to sing, or to simply do the work God has called us to do—the hope is that we become one. One with each other and with God, until even our hearts begin to beat as one.

Many hearts—beating as one.  

This image has not just intrigued me, but it has also haunted me.

For, in the midst of this heart-breaking time of disaffiliation … 
… and brokenness,
… and separation,
… and grief over all that divides us,
I believe God’s miraculous creation desires that we move toward alignment, until our hearts beat as one.

“One body and one Spirit, … one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” (Ephesian 4:5-6)

Let me share a portion of a song by a wonderful musician and theologian, Peter Mayer.  I wish you could hear the music that goes with this verse, but the words are worth sharing either way.

The String
by Peter Mayer (“Bountiful” CD)

I have found a hole in the center of the heart
Through which a thread goes; enters and departs.
It’s fastened in the middle to inside of me,
From where it then continues through the heart of everything. 

So when I get a feeling, a pulling on the chest,
I have to ask if that was me or one of the rest.
Sometimes it’s painful, sometimes just a tap,
Sometimes it happens violently and knocks me on my back.

Sometimes when I stand ‘neath the sky at night,
I take up the slack till the string is tight.
Staring at the stars take a step or two,
And I see them move—I think I see them move.

Everything’s connected;
Like peas are in a pod.
The beads upon the necklace decorating God,
Ring around the Rosie.
We’re all in the ring,
Like a strand,
Through the heart of everything.

My prayer and my hope is that someday our many hearts—diverse, individual, beautiful and unique —will be able to beat as one, through which we will— together— find the heartbeat of God. 

May it be so, dear Lord.  May it be so.

With you in the work of Christ,

Bishop Deb


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