Faith - Family - Things I Love

Innocent Murmurs

The butterfly fluttering happened off and on all day last Friday.  Yesterday morning it happened again.  It was like my heart had grown wings and was trying to stretch out inside my chest.

My doctor listened today and said I have a “nice heart murmur.”  Um. I question her use of the word “nice.”  She referred me for testing so I have an appointment with a cardiologist in 10 days.  Testing will show if it’s a congenital issue or a developed issue.  I do have a co-infection that is known to reside in heart tissue.  We need to determine the source of the murmur to know how to treat it.

Heart Murmurs: “There are two types of heart murmurs: innocent murmurs and abnormal murmurs. A person with an innocent murmur has a normal heart. This type of heart murmur is common in newborns and children.  An abnormal heart murmur is more serious. In children, abnormal murmurs are usually caused by congenital heart disease. In adults, abnormal murmurs are most often due to acquired heart valve problems.” (

The term “innocent murmurs” makes me smile.  The double meaning is too awesome to ignore.

I’m prone to utter “innocent murmurings.”  I have a bad day and just need to vent.  Or I have doubts about God’s plan and just need to cry.  Or I have questions about life and just need to talk it through.  Most of what comes out of my mouth in those times is stupid.  But saying it somehow makes me feel better.  There’s something cleansing about actually forming the words that have been bouncing around inside my mind.  And once they push out of my mouth and float in the air, I feel good.  In those times I rarely, if ever, agree with what I say.  If someone were to record my conversation I would be desperate to destroy the recordings.  They are not words that should bear fruit.  They are simply innocent murmurs.  They should remain empty and purposeless.  I don’t mean what I say when I murmur about God, about people, about myself.

“An innocent murmer has a normal heart.”  At the end of the day,  I am normal.  Nice, loving, peaceable.  Innocent.

Last night a lot of people were hurt by a man.  He took a bunch of guns to a movie theatre and shot people.  Men, women, children, babies.  It’s so very, very sad.

Today I keep hearing people question, “What is this world coming to?”

I think we all know humans are capable of terrible things but we dare to believe that humans are decent.  We all have bouts of “innocent murmurings” that give us a taste of our darkness but it’s not truly who we are and we go back to normal life.  Because after all, “An innocent murmer has a normal heart.”  Normal.

What that man did last night is not normal.  It’s abnormal.  It’s bad.  It’s wrong.  It’s counter-intuitive.  It’s crazy. It’s serious.

“An abnormal heart murmur is more serious. … caused by congenital heart disease … [or] due to acquired heart valve problems.”

Yes this is serious.  And the question now is, why did he do it?  Was it something he was born with?  A congenital struggle or chemical imbalance or disease?  Or was this something he developed over time? An acquired anger or a response to pain or a problem in life?

This is a problem:  It’s so hard to know what is going in on our own hearts sometimes.  And just like I need a heart specialist, humans need a help to determine the source of our murmurings to know how to treat it.

For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.  (Hebrews 4:12)

I have always had a hard time receiving correction.  I really like to be able to do self-diagnosis and thus avoid the public humiliation that comes when someone else points out an issue!  But there are some things that are beyond our own ability to see.  It’s hard to know what is going on in our own hearts sometimes.

Last night’s attack is a tragedy on two levels.  One: people were killed.  But two: a human being became abnormal.

When was the tipping point?  At some point the man would have simply had innocent murmurings.  What happened for him to leap from normal to abnormal?  When did he acquire this serious problem?

Of course, in the days to come we will all hear the man’s story and we’ll start to see how things unravelled to this point.  But this situation is stirring up a somber yet hopeful reminder: HUMANS NEED COMMUNITY.

We need to share life. To love and be loved.

We need to laugh together.  To share experiences and adventures.

Also we need the insights of others in our quest to live a normal, good, not-crazy life.

(I’m not saying we should haphazardly shout judgements and corrections at people around us.  Oh man, some people sure love to do that.  God has some important guidelines when it comes to Speaking Truth in Love)

What I’m talking about is: living in genuine loving community with people and having a culture of commitment to growing towards purity, goodness and holiness.  It is my firm belief this can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Only God can give us the Love and Wisdom to do this well.

Take good counsel and accept correction –  that’s the way to live wisely and well. (Prov 19:20)
Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him.  (Lk 17:3)

Isolation is not good for humans.  We get tweaked without knowing it.  It’s in our relationships with other humans that we can see ourselves.

Abnormal-hearted humans are dangerous.  And such a waste of a beautiful life… and then the lives of the others affected.

How did we get so off track as a human race?  We are one people but we act like we are barely related.  It’s dangerous that we think it’s socially “rude” to get all up in the personal business of others.  I understand that no one wants to be judged by a nosey gossip… but who else have we blocked out of our lives in the process?

Could it be that wise insightful loving community is the greatest need of humanity?  I know it’s one of my greatest needs.

I’m so grateful for the wise insightful loving community I am a part of.  This is why I’m a fan of church.  I know churches are filled with “interesting” people but I have found a fuller life amidst these diverse and unique people.  We are sometimes oil and water but we are bonded together by the Love and Grace of God.

Where do you get feedback and insight from? Do you have a community of friends that speaks with godly wisdom into your life?  How do you keep connected and avoid isolation?

Want to read through the Bible with me?  Today’s readings are Psalm 88; Acts 1:1-26

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