What the heart knows


Here is something you can know about every human being regardless of faith or religion, even if they say something to the contrary: They are searching for God. How can I be so sure about this? Because we were made this way. God put the need for Him in each one of us. Every people group, anywhere on the planet at any time in history gives clear evidence of worship. We are trying to fill a vacuum inside of us. Blaise Pascal wrote 350 years ago that money, power, pleasure, and prestige are all things we shovel into the big black hole we all have in our lives called “Only God fits here,” and that is why we can’t get “no satisfaction” without Him.

Everybody has this need. You don’t have to tell anyone they have it, you only need to know they do, and when you speak about yours, you are telling them something they know even though they might deny it. So tell them anyway.

Here is Solomon’s expression of the same thing: “I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:10-11)

There it is. God has purposely frustrated everyone. He has given us all a big, big heart and a little tiny mind. The mind can’t possibly grasp what the heart knows. This is, in fact, my personal definition of all of art. Art is human beings trying to grapple with having a big, big heart and a little tiny mind.

One of Pascal’s most famous quotes puts the same thing this way: Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point. “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”

This is why no one will ever be argued into becoming a Christian. No mind is big enough to grasp this. You can only access this truth through the heart. That’s not to say intellect isn’t important. Pascal is one of the greatest Christian apologists of all time, but in all his rationalization of faith, he is only trying to remove the mental obstacles that keep someone from believing – from accessing what the heart knows.

Pascal wrote a blazing poem about his conversion experience. It begins with “Fire!” and goes on to capture the emotional experience of opening up his heart and having God fill it up with Himself. It meant so much to him, he wrote it on a piece of paper and had it sewn into the lining of his coat which he wore until his death at the young age of 39.

You can’t force this on anyone; you can only walk alongside and speak of your own experience when asked to do so. Though you probably can’t tell anybody about their need for God, you can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is there. And when you talk about your own need, you can know, in spite of what anyone says, that you are speaking their language as well.

Gives new meaning to that statement by the two disciples who were unknowingly walking with the resurrected Christ when they said, “Did not our hearts burn within us as we walked along the way?” Little tiny minds talking… listening… big, big hearts, burning!

This entry was posted in Friendship, Meaning of life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What the heart knows

  1. drewdsnider says:

    One of the things we learned, running the showers facility on Vancouver’s skid row, was that while we set out to provide a Basic Human Need — to be clean — there was another need that was being facilitated: the need to know God loves someone. People on skid row know that better than the richest person in the British Properties (substitute any high-tone area in your own city).

  2. Mark D Seguin says:

    Interesting read!

  3. Miss Amy Miller says:

    Reminds me of Pascal’s quote you used in your book St. Ben. Will always love that book.

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