I recall a little old bent-over woman of seventy-odd years up in northern Sweden, a Laplander. She had come a long three days’ journey on her snow-shoes to the meetings. Night after night as I talked through interpretation her deep-set black eyes glowed and glowed. But when one night an hour or more was spent in voluntary prayer she needed no interpreter. And as I listened I needed none. I felt that she knew that Jesus spoke Lappish. The two were face to-face in closest touch of spirit.
And so it is everywhere. The flaxen-haired Holland maid kneeling by her single cot knows that Jesus talks Dutch, and her homely hearthfire Dutch, too, at that. And the earnest Polish peasant in his Carpathian cabin bowed before the symbol his eyes have known from infancy is talking into an ear that knows both Polish accent and Polish heart. So with the German of the Saxon highlands, and of the simpler speech of the Teutonic lowlands. So with the olive-skinned Latin and the darker-hued African kneeling on opposite sides, north and south, of the great Central-earth Sea. Wherever knowledge of Jesus has been carried, He is recognized and claimed as their own regardless of national or social lines.
I knew a minister of our Southland, but whose public service took him to all parts of our country. He had been reared in the South and knew the coloured people by heart, and loved them. And when he returned to his Southern home town he would frequently preach for the coloured people. He was preaching to them one Sabbath with the simplicity and fervour for which he was noted.
At the close among others, one big black man grasped his hand hard as he thanked him for the preaching. And then with his great child-eyes big and aglow, he said, “Youse got a white skin, but youse got a black heart.” And you know what he meant,—you have a black man’s heart, you have a heart like mine. Your heart makes my heart burn.
Now Jesus had a Hack heart. He had a white heart. He had a yellow, a brown heart. He had a Jew heart, a Roman, a Greek, a Samaritan heart. Aye, He had a world heart, He had a human heart. And He has. There’s a Man on the throne yonder, bone of our bone, heart of our heart, pain of our pain.
There’s more of God since Jesus went back. Human experience has been taken up into the heart of God. Jesus belonged to us. And now belongs to us more than ever, and we to Him. The human heart has felt His tremendous wooing. It has recognized its Kinsman wherever He has been able to get to them, and it has gladly yielded to the plea of His love.
Jerusalem might carpenter a cross for Him, but the world would weave its heartfelt devotion into a crown of love for Him, bestudded with the dewy tears of its gratitude, sparkling like diamonds in the light of His face.