“They Measure the Size of Their Hearts”


You surely didn’t miss the fact that England and Wales recently hosted the Rugby World Cup. As a proud Englishman I was deeply disappointed to see the home nations crashing out and while I did watch highlights of the remaining games they didn’t ignite the same passion in me or command my attention in the same way. My heart just wasn’t in it anymore.

During the preamble to one of the televised games the host asked how coaching staff know when an elite player is physically fit enough to take the field. The pundits answer gripped my imagination… “They measure the size of their hearts”. What a way to check if somebody is ready for the challenge ahead.

The pundit was describing a physical measurement. Experts use an ultrasound to measure the growth of the heart muscle, but the obvious spiritual and emotional metaphors are there for all to see; the measure of a man is more than his stature.

The Bible often uses the Greek word kardia to describe the physical heart but there is another word too, the Hebrew word leb. This describes the inner person, the non-physical and yet absolutely indispensable hidden part of person that governs their very existence. Hopes and dreams, thoughts and emotions, passion and a sense of purpose, all these are governed by the ‘leb’ – the heart. “Man looks at the outward appearance” says Samuel, “but the Lord looks at the heart”. As Luke wrote in his Gospel, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart”.

There are many challenges ahead for Safe Families for Children but we have big hearts. We have big hopes and dreams for the families we are called to serve, we are big on love and grace, and we are big on passion and our sense of purpose. So when you ask if you are really ready for the challenge, if you can really be the difference a family so needs, then the real question is: “how big is your heart?”