Chicago Sun-Times
...with Jesus, doctors and common sense

I Don't Deserve Your Heart Or Anybody Else's For That Matter

| 9 Comments | No TrackBacks

God Bless you.
I don't deserve your heart.
I need it desperately and, thanks to the Mayo Clinic, I am on the national list for a heart transplant.
Doctors say my best chance for long-term survival from my end-stage congestive heart failure is a new heart.
Naturally, I want to live just like any other normal person. I like life. And, most times, life appears to like me. We get alone pretty well.
I love praising God, preaching His word, helping to save sinners, listening to religion music and seeing endearing religious movies.
I love breathing in and out. I love walking and talking. I love loving and being loved. I love being able to feel things, both pain and pleasure. I love being able to smell wonderful fragrances. I love the sight of beautiful things. I love the sound of wonderful music--especially classical music.
I love the cuisines of the world. I am at home with chicken tikii massala from India, enchiladas from Mexico, shrimp and vegetable tempura from Japan, almost anything Chinese. I love pasta, soul food and, really at least one plate from just about every major culture under the sun.
Obviously, because one must be alive to enjoy these things, I thus love living.
But in order for me to enjoy much more of this, baring any non-heart tragedy, I need a heart. It would be nice if medical science had progressed to the point where an affordable, efficient, durable, reliable, mechanical heart had been perfected and could supply every patient who needed a new heart.
But until that day comes, and I pray it comes soon, real soon, I need a human heart.
I can't be choosy about whose heart I get. I can't demand that that heart come from a black man, a white man, a woman, a man, boy, girl, American, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Russian, Greek, Democrat, Republican, Baptist, Catholic, Jew, Hindu, atheist or whoever, wherever, whenever and however.
In other words, that heart, given the wrong and right circumstance, could come from you. And I feel very, very guilty about that because I don't deserve your heart. I really don't. God gave you a heart and God gave me a heart and God gave every human being a heart. And it's not your fault or anybody else's fault that heart has given out and become so severely damaged that it needs to be replaced.
But God also has blessed us, and our medical scientists, to be able to transfer a beating heart from a dying or dead host to a living one to save the new host's life
What obviously bugs me first and foremost, is the raw reality ithat if I am to get a human heart, then a human being will have to die. And I can't get next to that. I don't deserve your heart. If something unfortunate took my life and my heart could save your, I'd welcome that. But my heart is not the kind of heart that is eligible to be transplant into somebody else. It's not even operating on its own any longer. An implanted heart pump is doing the pumping necessary to keep me alive.
I don't deserve your heart.
I don't deserve it.
I don't deserve your heart or anybody else's heart.
I haven't earned it.
I couldn't pay for it.
I could never work hard enough and long enough to get enough money to even make a poor down payment on a down payment to even touch your most precious heart.
But this is what modern life has become. This is where modern science has brought us. We can now swap kidneys, lungs, livers, eyes, noses, ears and so many other body parts.
So I thank God that you and I are living in this brave, new age. And when I study this issue deeply, it is simply a translation of the miracle of spiritual salvation that Jesus has made possible.
After all, Jesus came to give His life so that you and I might have life and that more abundant.
Jesus came to bleed in our place. He came to be wounded and bruised for us. He came to be humiliated for us.
Jesus came to take the wrap for all out sins, all our crimes, all our misdeeds, all my weaknesses, all our errors, all our evils, all our inadequacies and whatever else separates us from moral perfection and eternal life.
Jesus came, suffered, bled and died and then arose from the grave on Easter Sunday with all power given unto Him in heaven and in earth so that if , in due season, you and I die before the rapture we , shall live again and again and again forever and ever and ever and evermore.
If I get this heart, I am somewhat relieved that I am not robbing anybody. If I get that heart that I need to save my life, I will actually be getting that heart from the Lord, the Supreme Maker and Keeper of all hearts.
If may come OUT of the body of another human being. But it will come FROM Lord.
That's why ,from henceforth and forevermore, children, I will continue to lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help. And in case anybody just tuned in, my help cometh from the Lord.
Just like every breath I breathe cometh, every sunrise cometh, every sunset cometh, every article of clothing cometh, every crumb for bread cometh, every drink of water cometh, whatever I need to make it from Point A to Point B, it cometh from the Lord of hosts.
Praise the Lord!!!
Thank you Jesus!!!!!
God bless you.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


First of all, Happy Belated Birthday, Pastor Banks.
I have been following your blog for several months and look forward to reading your postings. Your willingness to provide us with a bird's-eye of your health challenges is beyond admirable. Many of us would rather suffer in silence. Thank you for sharing your life history with such honesty and integrity. Faith will sustain you until your new heart arrives.
Continue to be Blessed.

BANKS' RESPONSE: In the meantime, I am ever striving to walk by faith and not be sight, by sound or sense because the truest realities extend beyond our abilities to see, hear or feel. Thanks for giving us all a lift.

Lacy -

I used to know a little bit about nature and the eco-system. Animals feed off other animals; bugs feed off a dying carcass; when something dies, it gives another thing life. This universe is such an elegant design.

It used to be that, when someone died, their parts were just buried. Now, because doctors and scientists were inspired to seek better use of these organs, they can be recycled. Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." Hasn't that come to pass with organ transplantation?

I'll disagree with you one point - You do deserve the heart. In order that one may know the blessing of being able to give, doesn't there need to be one there to receive? It's your turn.

I knew someone whose brother had been killed in an auto accident. His eyes were donated and it always gave her comfort to know that someone had use of them. She always looked people in the eyes to see if they were her brother's. To give is to bless; to receive is to bless, as well. Love is a two-way street.

So, I'll look forward to the news soon that the heart has become available to you. You will be blessing a grieving family when the heart of their beloved one is beating in your chest.

The very thought of that fills me with a sense of awe at what a wonderful creation this world really is. I don't say "God Bless You," because I'm always trying to keep in mind that it's already been done. But, I say may God's blessings be made manifest for you and yours as you receive this gift of a new heart.

Oh, and by the way, should you end up getting my heart, remember to let it warm up for minute or two in cold weather. Also, it responds well to chocolate.

BANKS' RESPONSE: John, you rascal you! You are so right about relatives finding comfort in the fact that organs donated by their loved ones continue to live, though in somebody else's body. The bible tells us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Though the heart donor may not be present in the flesh to feel blessed for giving his most precious organ, his relatives and loved ones are blessed to celebrate the continued life of that priceless organ. I still would feel so immensely indebted that I could not help but be more inspired to be the best that I can be and to do the best that I can do to bring honor to that organ. I'll use it, as always, to help others in as many ways I can so that this world, despite its overwhelming sufferings, will be a better place. Oh how Jesus it is for one to give so richly. Did not our Savior Jesus willingly die so that we might live? Never has there been or ever will be a giver of the magnitude of Jesus. And I agree with your reasoning. While it indeed is more blessed to give than to receive, one has to be willing to receive to help the giver get his blessing. Ultimately, the Lord is the supreme Rewarder. That's why He assure us maximum profit when He says, "Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down and shaken together shall men give unto your busom."

Dear Mr. Banks,

As I read this blog, tears began to fall down my face. I, too, was really sick with a lung disease called IPF or Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and was placed on the transplant list for five years awaiting a pair of lungs. I am simply writing to say be of good encouragement for God is on the throne and he sees all and knows all about our bodies. I received the gift of life in October, 2007 and everyday I give God all the praises. The struggles I endured were just a test of my faith, but when I found my faith weakening, I knew to ask for an increase. You said it right, "For we walk by faith and not by sight." Afterall, faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see. Mr. Banks, during by wait I had to push past my struggles and keep moving. It was very hard, but I would quote the same scripture, "I look to the hills from which my help cometh, my help cometh from the Lord." everyday. I continued to work through it all. Today, I am doing fantastic and praise be to my maker that I have not had any setbacks. I can walk and talk. I can really, really laugh without going into a coughing spasm. I can shop for myself. I took a trip on an airplane after 9 years. I took the train downtown just to walk and see the sights and there's been so many other things I can do again. Hallelujah!! For it's by Grace that I am alive! God is good all the time. So, Mr. Banks get your bags ready because your call is coming sooner than you know. Desire + Faith = Deliverance. "Weeping may endure for a night, but oh, oh,oh, joy cometh in the morning". Take care.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Oh, Jeanmarie! What a soul-stirring testimony about how the Lord worked a wonder in your life. We thank and praise God for bringing you through this life-threatening ordeal. You cried when reading about my challenges because you are shouting and crying about your own deliverance. Praise in one big way to thank God for His blessings. Your testimony has many of our names written all over it. Some people who are healthy today are headed your way. Some are in the midst of receiving the miracle you received. Some will join you in due season shouting about how the Lord brought them through, too. Yes, God still answers prayers and God is still in the healing business. You are profound proof of that. And please continue to do exactly what you did in this blog. Keep on giving God the glory. Keep right on thanking him every chance you get. And I assure you that the half has not been told in terms of how well God will bless you more and more and more.

Cannot connect my thoughts but want you to know that I am still praying for you and yours. I am crying now, tears of joy and thanksgiving. Our GOD is a good GOD

BANKS' RESPONSE: But whereas weeping endures for a night, joy cometh in the morning and he that goeth forth weeping bearing precious seed shall eventually come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves, As sure as day follows night, shealving follows grieving. So ye shall come rejoicing bringing the sheaves.

My Dear Rev Banks

It has been some time since commenting on the blog but God lead me to it this morning and as I was reading it I felt your heart and all the love the comes from it. I also realized once again how good God really is. As you continue to share your health issues and your belief and trust in God we know that you are an instrument that he can use to show us his goodness, mercies and healings. As we continue to pray for your immediate new heart you continue to preach, teach and talk about his marvelous works. I love the gentleman's comment before me if you happen to get my heart just know that we will continue to be one heart and one spirit.

Love Beverly D Rogers

BANKS' RESPONSE: My dearest Beverly, I hold your faith in God and Your prayers and love for me in the highest esteem. Your husband, Deacon Wiley, you, a few faithful others and I have been roundly battle-tested in a vicious war zone masquerading as a church. Nevertheless, yea though we indeed did walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God was with us, His rod and His staff, they comforted us. Congratulations on your recent retirement and thank you, also, for those retirement best wishes you extended to my wife vacationing in Florida while also celebrating our 42nd wedding anniversary. Joyce says she retired earlier than she had originally intended so that she would have more time to take of me, your humble servant. I love her even more for that, Keep faith in and love for our God,Beverly.

I echo Jeanmarie in saying that tears fell down my face when I read this entry. I was moved in the innermost depths of my soul by your eloquent declaration of the emotional turmoil associated with recognizing that in order for you to receive a new heart, another human being must die. It takes a tremendous amount of introspection and courage to be so honest, traits this world and its people need much more of.
The power of our tests and resulting testimonies rests in sharing the good and the bad of our trials truthfully and completely. How can we effectively witness to the power of God if we don’t tell the whole story of what God has delivered us from? People who have not yet heard of Him or accepted Him personally need to hear in detail how He has impacted our lives and thus is able to impact their lives. How can our testimony encourage other Christians to persevere, stand steadfast and unmovable, and be longsuffering and patient in the Lord through their personal tests and trials if we only tell them the end of the story, which is victory through Christ Jesus? How many of our incomplete testimonies give the false impression that our trials and tribulations are a walk in the park? Is it too farfetched to believe there are people seeking the Lord or are already committed to Him, but are afraid to step out further in faith because they believe they won’t measure up to the Super Saints that keep their own problems and struggles as Christians hidden?
It may sound like we’re having a mutual admiration society meeting, but I can’t testify enough to how powerful this blog has been in my life. I am encouraged daily to be more honest about my walk through the valley of the shadow of death, knowing that still waters await me and that He restores my soul. I have discovered that there are so many people traveling similar journeys who have uplifted me with their testimony and I hope, been uplifted by mine.
May the Lord enable us all to keep on writing and praying and enduring and trusting and believing in Him.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

BANKS' RESPONSE: Yes, Marie, I thank God that, through His holy spirit, we love Him and are called according to His purpose. That being the case, we thus qualify for fulfillment of the promise that all things will work together for good. Not each and every individual, singular thing. Some individual things with hurt us, harm us and even kill us. But in the fullness of time, in due season, before all is said and done, even here on this earth, all things, all things combined, all ingredients of life stirred together by the spoon of destiny in the big bowl of life, all things will work TOGETHER for good. There will be more than enough good to obliterate the evil. There will be more than enough positives to smother the negatives. There will be more than enough joy to overwhelm sorrow. There will be more than enough love to wipe out hate. There will be more than enough peace to vanquish war. So much so that at the end of the day, and all things are totals, the final sum will be Good, Good, Good and more Good forever and ever and evermore. Why? Well, because God Himself is Good. That's why we often join David is saying, "Oh give thanks unto the Lord for the Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting. And His truth endures to all generations."

Hello Rev. Banks

I am so glad to hear that you are still doing well.
I pray God's Peace and Blessings upon you and you family. Life has dealt you many challenges but by the Grace of God you have come this far by your faith and leaning on his everlasting arms.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Trusting in His holy Word, He's never failed us yet. Ooohhhhhhhhh, OOOOhhhhhhhh, oooohhhh, can't turn around. We've come this far by faith. And if we are to make it any farther or further, it will be by faith. For we walk by faith and not be sight. Dear Lord, increase our faith in thee, less we faint.

Lacy, just a note to let you know that you and Jimmie are both references of 'good folks' as I share stories with my grandchildren about my classmates.

I will be praying for you as you face these 'golden years' looking back on a life well spent. Often our comfort zones gets squeezed in one way or another and it is in those times that we remember the victories we've had and the storms we've endured, but more that we remember we who love the Lord are not in this alone. I know you know who is in the boat with you and that He has the last word.

At our ages, we still have a purpose to fulfill in both sickness and in health. IMHO your life has been a strong testimony of His goodness, mercy and grace. Stay strong my brother and may God continue to get the glory!


BANKS' RESPONSE: Well, well, well. Andrew Smith! It's been many seasons since we together have broken some kind of bread--material, spiritual, cerebral, social, whatever. Thanks for your kind words of comfort and encouragement. I fondly remember you, Andrew, long before I heard people call former basketball star Connie Hawkins "Long Tall Sally." Yes, you were long and tall. But you weren't any dilly-dally Sally. No, you towered long and strong in Sumner crowds. You towered especially well on the basketball court. I believe you were the tallest player the Spartans had on the team and you did the best you could to small avail. What a shame it was that coach Rhone could not recruit the kind of supporting cast that you could have parlayed into a state championship. I hope that all is well with you and your family. Somebody told me some time ago that you had answered God's call to preach. I was happy to hear that. Our '61 Sumner class was, in many ways, a seminary class of priests or priests-to-be. Jogging my memory, I recall classmates like my brother Jimmy, Carl Johnson, Henry Briscoe, Michael Sue Sears, Richard Jenkins and Jesse Thomas joining us in the preaching priesthood. That's eight right there, Andrew. Did I miss anybody? Hope not. Thanks for taking precious time to read my blog and then commenting on top of that. For more than two years, now, I have been a miracle in progress. God just keeps right on blessing me as He continues healing me from a brain tumor, prostate cancer and end-stage congestive heart failure that is severe enough for the Mayo Clinic to plane me on the heart transplant list. Many times, in my private, quiet moments, the awareness of His mighty goodness overwhelms me with so much gratitude that my my cup runneth over. As I take leave with this response to your comment, I urge you, Andrew, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to please, please preach the Word. Preach the Word and be instant in season, out of season (whenever that is, because I can't see God's Word ever being unseasonal). Nevertheless, Andrew, Preach on anyhow. Preach when you feel like and preach, especially, when you don't feel like it. Preach and reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time is already here, my brother, when people no longer have a sweet tooth for sound doctrine. They prefer a doctrine that sounds good but is it is unsound. And wo be unto us whose preaching becomes a mere echo or our own arrogant and ignorant ego.

My prayers are with you and your family. We know that God is able .

BANKS' RESPONSE: In my boyhood, one of the most popular gospel music hits in the black community was "Surely, Surely, He's Able To Carry You Through." This was a song recorded, and perhaps even composed, by Clara Ward and the Ward Singers. One of the great touchstones of my faith is the infallible ability of God to deliver us from all evil. By believing in the omnipotence of God, we affirm that He's able. We affirm that nothing is too hard for the Lord. We affirm that if God be for us, He is more than the world against us. I go through my health challenges with the blessed assurance that Jesus is mine to heal me and to prosper me against diverse adversity. He's able. He's able because He is. And we make His impeccable ability available to us by simply believing that, well, He is. Such is bare bones faith. For He that cometh to God must believe that He is...and that He is a rewarder of them that dilligently seek Him. He just is for no particular reason. Faith in the mere Isness of God is our ticket to salvation and and the formula for us to excel and prevail in whatever. When Moses asked God how he should identity Him when Egyptian Pharoah would asked who sent him to tell him to free God's Hebrew slaves, God said, "I Am......Tell him I AM sent you." So much for God's first name. And when Moses asked for God's whole name, God said, "I Am That I Am." So to this very day, Wanda, "I Am That I Am" has sustained, is sustaining and will sustain me forever.

Leave a comment

Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on August 16, 2010 10:35 PM.

A not-so-happy 67th birthday, but thank God for Jesus. was the previous entry in this blog.

Please, God, Don't Let This Be My Last Vacation is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.