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Heart for Jesus

Heart for Jesus Christ

Listen to Your Heart:

Do you have a heart for Jesus Christ? Allow me to tell you an amazing story.

In the mid-1970s, Larry Lawrence played quarterback for the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As with most men in the NFL, Larry seemed to be superhuman. He was a prime physical specimen in peak condition. By 2003, however, because of a rare condition called “sticky platelet syndrome,” he needed a new heart.

On any given day in the United States approximately 3,000 people are on the official waiting list for a donor heart. But with only 2,000 donor hearts available each year, Larry faced the grim possibility that he might die before one was found for him. He needed two miracles, and he needed them soon: a healthy heart and a successful transplant.

Then it happened. Just three days after Christmas in 2003, the pager Larry carried began to vibrate. This could mean only one thing: Rush to the hospital immediately and prepare for surgery. A twenty-two-year-old organ donor had died suddenly from an untimely stroke. It’s a strange irony—and Larry understands this better than most—that his life would be spared by another man’s death.

The most unforgettable part of this story happened more than a year after the transplant. It’s somewhat rare for the donor’s family members to meet with the recipients of their loved one’s organs. But Kayree Turner, the grieving mother, wanted to see the man who had her son’s heart. Their first meeting and the broadcast interview to follow was scheduled to occur at a radio station in Midland, Texas. My friend, who happens to be a pastor, was there to witness the event.

Kayree did something quite unusual when she saw Larry for the very first time. As her tiny frame moved toward the former quarterback, she lost all sense of his personal space. Standing toe to toe, she cautiously leaned in, ever so close. Any mother can understand what she did next. With tears streaming down her cheeks, she turned her head sideways and placed her right ear on the left side of Larry’s chest.

And there she lingered, awkwardly. There she listened, intently. There she treasured each familiar sound of a faint echo—an echo resonating from within a stranger’s chest.

Then she looked up into Larry’s eyes and said, “I just wanted to hear my son’s heartbeat…one last time.”

At this moment, if someone listened to your beating heart, whose heart would they hear? Have you captured the heart of Jesus Christ? Is it pounding for Him? What about your mind? Does it think like the Carpenter from Galilee? And your eyes? Are they focused on the risen, returning King of Glory?

Excerpt from One Blinding Vision

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R. James Shupp is an accidental author, pastor of the Movement Church of San Antonio, and CEO of He specializes in helping churches thrive.

Comments (4)

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    Barbara Shupp


    I believe that my heart beats for Jesus as long as I focus on Him each day and not let doubt enter in. But it’s an hour by hour and minute by minute process. You can not wake up in the morning, read your Bible and expect that to be it for the day. Jesus said to hide His word in your heart. I think He wants us to recollect His word throughout our day. Let our thoughts and minds be His.


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    Kayree Turner


    WOW.. My fingers just punched in my name in google. I found this awesome story about my Son Matthew Corey Watterson and his heart recipient Larry Lawerance. One of the nicest people you would ever find to be a friend. God rest his soul. I found this article very inspiring and to know that Corey is still being remembered all these years later. Thank you very much James. Please email me should you care to talk. Im so very touched.


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      isabel nalley


      How difficult it must have been for you, Kayree! I have a son in Kuwait and I can just imagine having to release him in that manner. What strength and courage, and then the joy and peace, to hear him, alive, one again! What hope we have in Christ to quicken our mortal bodies. Not only do our hearts beat for Him…but His blood runs through our veins too. This time of year must be very hard for you, but know that our small fellowship here in San Antonio will keep you in our prayers. Shalom!


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        I had to come back after these last holidays to re-read this story. Thank you Barbara and Isabel for your kind words. I will pray for your Son overseas. I am greatful for his service. And Mr Shupp.. I still eagerly await your call. I shared this with my sister and she was amazed. God Bless your church for the prayer line and know that I’m greatly appreciated that his heart lives on. Thank you again.


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