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The Broken Heart

When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Mk. 2:17).

If you drive west of Denver, you will see some of the most beautiful country in the world in the Rocky Mountains. It is the first place my husband Larry and I went after moving to Colorado in 1981. We drove up to about 9,000 feet in elevation to the small community of Harris Park where his relatives own property. I thought, as I have about a few other places, that it was indeed the “end of the world.”

Within a year, I had started college and met a young woman named June and her husband Ed. They had close friends named Jay and Steph. Jay and Ed had been high school buddies and now these four were inseparable. I liked the way they spent weekends together. The guys helped each other with everything; even rotating tires on vehicles. These two couples soon welcomed our family into their circle.

There was never any of the “people stuff” that can happen when friends share friends. We were instantly accepted. My husband and Jay became hunting buddies and hunted elk in the High Country.

In 1984, we moved to the plains of Northeastern Colorado, and June and Ed moved to Vermont. The following year Jay and Steph moved to the same small community that Larry and I had first visited in Colorado. Their new home in Harris Park was at 8,852 feet with the national forest directly behind their property.

Their two bedroom cabin with wood-burning cook stove was just the right size for them and their young son. But, it had an oddity. The bathroom was outside. No, not an outhouse. It was a real honest-to-goodness bathroom with running water, shower, toilet, and heating. It was connected to the house by a boardwalk. I thought it very inconvenient as Steph had to bundle up in the winter just to go to the toilet. However, years later when they remodeled and put the bathroom inside, she said she missed going outside.

Years ago, we received a tragic call. Jay had had health issues for years and even had a leg amputated. This devastating message told us that he had died of a heart attack. Steph had valiantly performed CPR until the medics flew in.

Steph related this story to me. After Jay died, she did not want to decorate for Christmas anymore, but her friends insisted she must. Instead of trimming the traditional tree, she made a twelve-foot heart with red rope lights in her front yard. After a few days, a small portion of the heart burned out. So, then she had a twelve-foot broken heart. She left it as it was for years until she no longer lived in the house. She didn’t move far away, just down the hill from her previous home.

She realized after she had moved away, and after the heart no longer existed, that rescue helicopters had used the heart as a navigation point. The pilots had used the red lights to locate her small community tucked back in the mountains near the national forest. She watched them zigzagging back and forth searching for the lights.

The anniversary of their marriage has passed, and the anniversary of Jay's death is soon approaching. I ask you to pray for my friend that she continues, even after all these years, to move forward with joy within. The Lord reminded me of a scripture after hearing their story. It comes from Mark 2:17: When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

The Lord gives each of us a story and within our stories are multi-revelations of how he touches our hearts. This story of the broken heart is one such tale. For if the broken heart could talk, perhaps we'd know how many lives were saved by the red beacon on the hill created by a grieving wife. Our friend Jay's life touched many and even after his death the love his wife has is still strong. In some ways we all have a sick condition that affects our hearts. May our broken hearts find rest in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ and may we be a beacon of loving light in this broken world.

LaRose Karr

American Baptist Women (Colorado Chapter)

Sterling, Colo.

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