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The Heart Of It

My best friend acquired another tattoo, an image of a physical heart.

And no, this is not the debate on Christ followers and tattoo’s.

Knowing she does all things with purpose, I asked her what this one was for. She began to tell me a story about Robert the Bruce and Sir James Douglas.

Robert the Bruce gained Scotland’s crown in 1306.  One day traveling to Glasgow, he met Sir James Douglas.


“And thus began their friendship true.

That no mischance could e’er undo.

Nor lessen while they were alive.

Their friendship more and more would thrive.

-The Brus, John Barbour.


Together they fought and conquered in the present-day wars. In 1329, at the age of 55, Bruce was on his death bed. According to history, Bruce asked Sir James, friend and lieutenant, to carry his heart into battle against “God’s foes,” in the crusades. He longed to enter the Holy lands alongside his men. So after his death, they removed Bruce’s heart, embalmed it and placed it in a silver casket to be worn by Sir James as he continued in the crusades.

Legend has it, as they were battling at Granada, enemy lines broke and Sir James with his companions followed heavily after them. Already having lost many of his men, he found himself in the front lines with few of his knights nearby. He watched as his fellow knight, Sir William St. Clair was being overrun. In attempt to rescue, they were outnumbered the group was failing. Sir James took Bruce’s heart from his chest and heaved it into the midst of the battle. Speaking his last words, he proclaimed to his men, “Follow the heart of your King or die!”

It’s not just fighting for what you believe in but knowing what you believe.

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” Mark 8:34,35

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13


If you know what you believe do you use the life you’ve been given to give life to others? This is truth. This is what my friend meant. This is the heart that Jesus has reflected in her life. She has been in Venezuela when they were kicking Americans out. She has been to the Republic of Georgia weeks before Russia was bombed. She will tell you, “I’ve always gone where the Lord was leading, having no idea where He was leading but trusting His heart when I couldn’t see His hands.”

You will almost never hear me say the phrase, “follow your heart.” Frankly, following my own heart, my own whims and rash decisions are usually the decisions that get me into trouble. By following the heart of my King Jesus, I will always make my best decisions. He is faithful to help me through anything I may need to endure. He is my safe haven, the only one I can truly trust. As much as I love my family, my husband, my friends, there is a deeper trust I have in Christ, one that is never failing.


“Do not put your trust in Princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground, on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed is he whose help is in the Lord his God, the Maker of Heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them – the Lord, who remains faithful forever.” Psalm 146:3-5