Tell me, you vain professor, when did you shed a tear for the deadness, hardness, unbelief, or earthliness of your heart? Do you think that such an easy religion can save you? If so, we may invert Christ's words and say, 'Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to life, and may there be that go in there. '
Growing up in Middlesbrough [in England], I listened to artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Howlin' Wolf. It was like another world. Something happened to me when I heard that music. It leapt out of the speakers and went straight into my heart. And I thought, "Right, that's what I'm doing. "
The touch was exactly what the touch of a lover's hand should be: familiar, yet exciting as a whispered promise. I felt an almost irresistible urge to take her hand and place it flat against my chest, near my heart. Maybe I should've done it. I know now that she would've laughed, if I'd done it, and she would've liked me for it. But strangers that we were then, we stood for five long seconds and held the stare, while all the parallel worlds, all the parallel lives that might've been, and never would be, whirled around us.
A bulging portfolio of spiritual experiences matters little if it does not have the power to sustain us through the inevitable moments of grief, loss, and change. Knowledge and achievements matter little if we do not yet know how to touch the heart of another and be touched. Wisdom is alive only as long as it is lived, understanding is liberating only as long as it is applied.
Out of my deeper heart a bird rose and flew skywards. Higher and higher did it rise, yet larger and larger did it grow. At first it was but like a swallow, then a lark, then an eagle, then as vast as a spring cloud, and then it filled the starry heavens. Out of my heart a bird flew skywards. And it waxed larger as it flew. Yet it left not my heart.