True Capacity of the Heart

Congenital Heart Disease…. quite possibly one  of the worst terms a parent can hear.  It is confusing, frightening, overwhelming.  There are various uncertainties that swirl around the diagnosis when detected early, and even more when the diagnosis comes after the perfect little baby is born.  It is then at that moment that the first test of the capacity of the heart is tested and the first lesson a CHD child teaches.  It is then, that true and unconditional capacity to love someone, that may or may not be able to love you back comes into play, and it is the first of many lessons of the heart that a child with CHD will teach everyone around them.

Often when we’re talking in terms of Congenital Heart Disease we use terms like “half a heart” or “imperfect heart” to describe a particular heart condition to friends, family, even children.  We explain what medically we understand based on what’s been explained by the doctors or what we’ve read.  We depict the physical heart as simply being, ‘broken’.   All of these things are accurate, the descriptions are true and the biological issues are in fact real.
Where am I going with this you ask….?   If you’ve ever met a child with CHD you know none of these descriptions could be further from the truth.  Quite the opposite; Parents of a CHD child, siblings, aunts/uncles, grandparents or friends of someone with a CHD child, know that for some reason children born with CHD have greater capacity in their ‘imperfect’ hearts, than anyone they’ve met.   Many would say CHD kids have a bigger heart, a better heart, a more complete and truly noble heart than their counterparts.You’ve heard the theory that when someone loses one of their sense the other heighten… if they lose their sense of sight, for example, the sense of touch becomes more acute.  Perhaps this is God’s way of compensating.  Maybe the same holds true for a child with CHD, because even though the doctors say they have an imperfect heart, if you’ve ever met a child with CHD you know the abundance of love, patience, compassion, forgiveness and understanding in their heart, rivals that of anyone, and that truly is a perfect heart.