And God Created: The Heart Of Man
We have just passed a “special” time of year, that of Valentine’s Day, when our attention is focused on love and affairs of the heart. Of course, this attention is not so much on the blood pump in our chest, as the emotional centers of the brain. Even Jesus himself referred to the need to love God with all of our heart and soul in Matthew 22:37: “…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” The Bible, in a few places, does refer to the heart and its importance to the life of the body. Joab took the life of Absalom by a dart thrust to the heart. 2 Samuel 18:14. “… And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.” Our hearts play serious roles in keeping us alive as they pump the blood around our bodies, and they also serve as a site where we feel many of our emotions. Let us look at the marvelous structure of the heart that God has created in us and see how this might occur.
The brain, with its control of rational decision making and centers of emotions, is much more in control of the emotional responses than our heart. With the brain’s ability to project a perception of senses back to the location of the neurons that initially sent the signal, it makes us feel like we are “tasting” with our tongues, when we really taste in the brain. So, God has created our brain to project much of our emotional feelings back into the area of our blood pump, and, so, when we say, “I love you with all my heart,” we have sensations in the center of our chest. We CAN have a “broken heart” as serious emotional trauma causes the release of stress hormones that “stun” the actual heart muscle and give symptoms that mimic those of a heart attack. Our brain projects back to the heart area many emotional responses that we actually have no organ for other than our brain.
The physical heart, weighing in at about 10 ounces, is, indeed, one of the smallest organs of our bodies that has a major impact. In under a minute, your heart can pump blood to every cell in your body. Over the course of a day, our hearts beat about 100,000 times, or about 35 million times a year. In a day, the heart will pump almost 2,000 gallons of oxygen-rich blood many times through about 60,000 miles of branching blood vessels that link together the cells of our organs and body parts. This results in the blood’s travelling about 12,000 miles every day. That's a hefty job for a fist-sized muscle. It will beat about 2.5 billion times in your lifetime and pumps about one million barrels of blood, which is enough to fill three super tankers.
The heart has its own electrical system that causes the “pumping” action of the heart. It is composed of three parts: the S-A node, the A-V node, and the His-Purkinje system. This system of cells and tissues then is the electrical signal for the heart beat and sends it in the proper pattern from top to bottom to cause our blood to move through our hearts and to the body.
The muscular arrangement of the heart is now known to be a marvelous system of inter-wound tissues called the “helical ventricular myocardial band of Torrent-Guasp,” named after the scientist who discovered the true nature of the heart fibers. This arrangement can actually be demonstrated by taking a rope and looping it around and around to almost form a knotted structure. The cells of the heart are called cardiomyocytes. Scientists consider these heart cells a part of the muscle cell family, though with unique differences in structures such as the mitochondria, intercalated disks and t-tubes, as well as in cellular growth. These differences allow the heart cells to be highly resistant to fatigue as the mitochondria are the “power house” of the cells that produce the energy the heart needs to keep up with its job. New discoveries in 2009 now show that these cardiomyocytes are actually generating new heart cells. This encourages researchers to try and find ways to get heart cells to repair themselves after damage.
So, from emotions to the movement of our blood, the heart is a marvelous creation with which we should honor and worship the God who created us. Paul by inspiration said, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. –Rt 1 Box 116A., Belington, WV 26250. firstname.lastname@example.org
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