I. John’s Story
II. The Wooing Lover
Who it was that came.
III. The Lover Wooing
A group of pictures
illustrating how the wooing was done and how
the Lover was received.
IV. Closer Wooing
An evening with opening
hearts: the story of a supper and a walk in
the moonlight and the shadows.
V. The Greatest Wooing
A night and a day with
hardening hearts: the story of tender
passion and of a terrible tragedy.
VI. An Appointed Tryst Unexpectedly Kept
A day of startling joyous surprises.
VII. Another Tryst
A story of fishing,
of guests at breakfast, and of a walk and talk
by the edge of blue Galilee.
“I fled Him, down the
nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes, I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.”
—Francis Thompson, in “The Hound of Heaven.”
“These are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name.”—John xx. 31.
The Heart-strings of God.
There’s a tense tugging at the heart of God. The heart-strings of God are tight, as tight as tight can be. For there’s a tender heart that’s easily tugged at one end, and an insistent tugging at the other. The tugging never ceases. The strings never slack. They give no signs of easing or getting loose.
It’s the tug of man’s sore need at the down-end, the man-end, of the strings. And it’s the sore tug of grief over the way things are going on down here with men, at the other end, the up-end, the heart-end, of the strings. It’s the tense pull-up of a love that grows stronger with the growth of man’s misunderstanding.
But the heart-strings never snap. The heart itself breaks under the tension of love and grief, grieved and grieving love. But the strings only strengthen and tighten under the strain of use.
Those heart-strings are a bit of the heart they’re tied to, an inner bit, aye the innermost bit, the inner heart of the heart. They are the bit pulled, and pulled more, and pulled harder, till the strings grew. Man was born in the warm heart of God. Was there ever such a womb! Was there ever such another borning, homing place!