It was man’s going away that stretched the heart out till the strings grew. The tragedy of sin revealed the toughness and tenderness of love. For that heart never let go of the man whom it borned. Man tried to pull away, poor thing. In his foolish misunderstanding and heady wilfulness he tried to cut loose. If he had known God better he would never have tried that. He’d never have started away; and he’d never have tried to get away.
For love never faileth. A heart—the real thing of a heart, that is, God’s heart—never lets go. It breaks; but let go? not once: never yet. The breaking only loosens the red that glues fast with a tighter hold than ever. The fibre of the heart—God’s heart—is made of too strong stuff to loosen or wear out or snap. Love never faileth. It can’t; because it’s love.
Now all this explains Jesus. It was man’s pull on these heart-strings that brought Him down. The pull was so strong and steady. It grew tenser and more insistent. And straight down He came by the shortest way, the way of those same heart-strings. For the heart-strings of God are the shortest distance between two given points, the point of God’s giving, going love, and the point of man’s sore need, given a sharper-pointed end by its very soreness.
It is a sort of blind pull, this pull of man on the heart of God; a confused, unconscious, half-conscious, dust-blinded, slippery-road sort of pulling, but one whose tight grip never slacks. Man needs God, but does not know it. He knows he needs something. He feels that keenly. But he does not know that it’s God whom he needs, with a very few rare exceptions. It doesn’t seem to have entered his head that he’ll never get out of his tight corner till God gets him out.
Down the street of life he goes, eyes blinded by the thick dust, ears deafened by the cries of the crowd, by the noise of the street without, and the noise of passions and fevered ambitions within, heart a-wearied by the confusion of it all, groping, stumbling, jostled and jostling, hitting this way and that, with the fever high in his blood, and his feet aching and bleeding; sometimes the polish of culture on the surface; sometimes rags and dirt; but underneath the same thing.
Yet under all there’s a vague but very real feeling of that unceasing pull upward upon His heart-strings. But though blind and vague and confused that tugging is never the less tense, but ever more, and then yet more.
Jesus was God answering the tug of man’s need on His heart-strings. And so naturally there was an answering feel in man’s heart. Man felt the answer a-coming. There was a great stir in the spirit-currents of earth when Jesus came. A thrill of expectancy ran through the world, Roman, Greek, Barbarian, far and wide, as Jesus drew near. The book-makers of that time all speak of it. It was the vibration of those same heart-strings connecting man and God.