An Evening with Opening
Hearts: the Story of a Supper and a Walk
in the Moonlight and the Shadows
Nigh and nigh draws the chase, With unperturbed pace, Deliberate speed, majestic instancy, And past those noised Feet A Voice comes yet more fleet— “Lo, naught contents thee, who content’st not Me.”
—“The Hound of Heaven.”
“I came forth
from the Father, and am come into the world: again,
leave the world, and go unto the Father.”—John xvi. 28.
“I thought His love
As more and more He knew me;
But it burneth like a beacon,
And its light and heat go through me;
And I ever hear Him say,
As He goes along His way,
Wand’ring souls, O do come near Me;
My sheep should never fear Me.
I am the Shepherd true.”
—Frederick William Faber.
The knot tied on the end of the thread holds the seam. The clinching of the nail on the underside holds all that has been done. Love ties knots to hold what has been gotten. The bit of prayer knots up the kindly act. The warm hand-grasp knots the timely word. The added word and act tie up all that’s gone before. Hate imitates love the best it can. But its intense fires are never so hot.
The rest of John’s book is simple. It is tying knots on the ends of threads. Five knots are tied on the ends of these same three threads we have been tracing.
There’s a triple knot on the end of the blue thread of acceptance; an ugly tangled knotty knot on the end of that black thread of opposition and rejection; and a knot of wondrous beauty on the end of that yellow thread of winsome wooing. Chapters eighteen and nineteen tie two of these, the black and the glory-coloured.
Chapters thirteen through seventeen, is the first knot on the faith thread, the betrayal-night knot. Chapter twenty is the second, the Resurrection knot; chapter twenty-one the extra knot, the love-service knot. We take a look now at the patient skilful tying of the first knot on the end of that true-blue faith thread.
It’s taken a good bit of careful work to get that thread, tearing loose, cleansing, spinning, twisting, careful handling, till at last a good thread is gotten, and is being woven into the warp. Now a knot is tied on its end to hold what has been gotten, and keep it from ravelling out, for there’s a desperately hard place coming in the weaving.
There’s a clean finish at the end of the twelfth chapter of John. There’s a sharp break, an abrupt turn off to something quite different. The direct-wooing case is made up. There is no more added to it, except the indirect, the incidental. The evidence is all in. Wondrous wooing it has been, in its winsomeness, its faithfulness, its rare power. Now it is over. It’s done, and well done. That door is shut, the national door.