The Language of Compassion—What Translation and Heart Surgery Have in Common

After a week spent with Dr. Kirk’s team, observing countless ECHO screenings of small hearts, I can’t think of anything more terrifying than parenthood.

Sometime through the first morning of exams, I realized I didn’t need medical imaging technology to see the love in one young mother’s eyes. Her 2-year-old son’s heart wasn’t pumping enough oxygen to his body. She wanted to give her son more life than his tired heart could provide, to turn his fingers from blue to healthy pink.

Despite the intensity of her love, it was unable to repair her son’s heart.

A parent’s love alone can’t correct arteries and valves. But a surgeon’s hands can. A heart surgeon can translate the love of a parent into something life-changing in the heart of a sick child, like a translator communicating everything the speaker wants to say into a different language. Good intentions have no power without a translator who can turn that intention into reality.

I want to be a “translator.”

Most of us don’t have the skill necessary to translate the depth of our love into the medical expertise that saves lives. But we can each translate our compassion into countless actions that remake the world.

I believe God is remaking the world: small hearts, parents’ pain, and Iraq. If you’re reading this blog, chances are we share a common desire for the world to be remade.

Whether a surgeon or a songwriter, homemaker or a horticulturalist, we can use our work to remake the world.

What kind of “translator” do you aspire to be? How do you communicate love to those around you? Tell me about it in the comments section!

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This post continues a series of intern reflection posts from the summer 2013 internship. Interested in interning with us? Click here to visit our internship page!

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The Language of Compassion—What Translation and Heart Surgery Have in Common
The Language of Compassion—What Translation and Heart Surgery Have in Common
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