Anyone who has traveled has felt it. Many of us have said it and heard it said: “That place has a piece of my heart.”
I felt that way a few days ago when a friend sent me a link to a video about a Bible dedication in Papua New Guinea. It shows a man praying as his village is about to receive God’s word in their own language for the first time. My husband and I had the privilege of attending two Bible dedications while we lived in PNG and both were experiences I’ll never forget. Seeing the emotions and heart-felt response of the people to the scriptures was inspiring.
When I received the video and saw it streaming with no sound for the first few moments, I was immediately taken back to that place – the sights, the smells, the sounds. I remembered the chanting of the men who surrounded our plane as we landed in the village, singing a song of welcome both to us and to their new Bible. I remembered the old woman carrying the first box of Bibles in her bilum (string bag) and being told she had been given the privilege because she had prayed for this moment for many years. I remembered the look on a young man’s face as he clasped his Bible to his breast and said thank you.
I was a little surprised at the intensity of these memories as I watched the video. It’s been twenty years since we lived there. But yes, a piece of my heart is still there and there are times when I long to go back.
I’ve felt a yearning like that at other times too, a yearning for heaven. It has hit at odd times, at a funeral once, in the middle of a magnificent forest another time, as I stared at an incredibly beautiful sunset not long ago. That longing surprises me because, unlike Papua New Guinea, I’ve never been to heaven. But a piece of it has been placed in my heart, because One who lives there has put His Spirit in my heart. And I long to be where He is.
Some day I hope to go back to PNG. Friends are working on a translation of the New Testament that will be done soon and it’s one of the things on my bucket list to get there when they dedicate it to God. I hope that happens, but there is no guarantee.
Some day I hope to get to heaven, and thanks be to God, I do have a guarantee that day will come. Jesus Himself has promised to meet me there. The said: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:51).
Yes, there’s a piece of my heart in heaven and one day my heart will be made whole again.