The Heart of a Secretariat
His name was Secretariat. He was an incredible horse. He prevailed in many races, including the coveted Triple Crown. He won the1973 Belmont Stakes by an unprecedented 31 lengths, setting an unbeatable record in the process (see photo).
I own and ride a Thoroughbred (a former race horse), and I can attest that Thoroughbreds slow down after running a quarter-mile. Secretariat actually ran faster with each succeeding fraction after the first quarter-mile.
Trainers were bewildered. How could a horse run so fast? The answer came only after the death of Secretariat. When he was autopsied, Secretariat’s heart was found to be larger than the average horse’s. Not just slightly larger, but massively larger. The average Thoroughbred’s heart weighs 8.5 pounds. Secretariat’s weighed 22.
In 1999, Secretariat was honored as the 35th greatest athlete of the Twentieth Century by ESPN’s SportsCentury, a program profiling the top athletes of the last century. Secretariat was the only animal to make the list. What made him so special? His heart.
I know a person with a big heart. A gigantic heart. The heart of a Secretariat. So deep is her love for people – the unlovely included – that she puts me to shame, and has done so for over 28 years. One cannot come away from an encounter with her without having learned a great truth about the Lord Jesus: He has a huge heart.
Here is just a sampling of her rich and thoughtful prose from an email she sent yesterday to our friends in Ethiopia:
I just want to share with you a bit of what our great God is doing here. As you are aware, we are trying to get a dear 14-year-old blind boy from Gondar to Addis for corneal transplant surgery. My husband has told a bit about Azanou on his website (daveblackonline.com). Another website picked up the story, and before we know it, there is a fund-raising, letter-writing, big prayer campaign going on for Azanou.
I want to invite you to visit this web site: buriedtreasurebooks.com/weblog/
People are already beginning to send us money to help with Azanou’s expenses, and they are making him a part of their family prayer times. Parents are teaching their children about Ethiopia. Churches are gathering to pray for Azanou and Ethiopia. It is SO EXCITING!
As we’ve been working, through our Lord’s grace, to get everything in order for this transplant, we’ve seen Ethiopians step up to help us, some of whom we’ve never met. But God has put it in their hearts to help us. And now we are seeing American Christians from across our country also step up to help us. Only our Saviour can do something like this!
We are only at the very beginning of this adventure. And yet our God has done such great and wonderful things! To Him alone goes the praise! What stories will we have to tell when this is adventure is done. Please pray especially for Azanou’s salvation!
For His Kingdom, by His grace,
Mrs. BeckyLynn Black
Perhaps of greatest price among the precious things this letter reveals is the author’s personal and intense love for the Lord Jesus. It is His love that prompts her to reach out to others wherever she goes. God’s love oils the wheels of her activities, gives spontaneity to her duties, and makes her servitude to Christ one of blessed emancipation.
How big is your heart? How big is mine? How often do we find ourselves – our vessels – so full of the living water of Christ’s presence that we freely dispense it to others?
O Lord Jesus, so fill me with the knowledge of Thee that my small heart becomes Thy big heart, so that when my life’s history is written, whoever reads it will not think of me as a self-made man, but as the handiwork of God, in whom His grace and love are magnified.
February 19, 2005
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. If you would like to know more about becoming a follower of King Jesus, please feel free to write Dave.