from A Year of Morning Thanks
I received a CD from a friend a few days ago, the story of the history of church music, sweetly told by a musician, who embedded plenty of old favorites within the story he was telling—including early Christian music and a gorgeous Gregorian chant. Luther’s “Mighty Fortress” was sung by a choir in the way Luther intended that old favorite sung, a style which made it sound more like its own antecedent chants.
One of old hymns, Wesley’s “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” sung in joyous solemnity by the audience, just made me cry. I don't know why, but there I was, walking down the street, ear phones in, blubbering. No one saw me.
In the ever-present battles between mind and heart in the life of this college professor, mind quite regularly wins, reason triumphs, and that’s okay. But at that moment, on an ordinary city street, just for a moment, I suffered an attack of the heart. As John Donne once wished, I was assaulted, battered by a three-personed God.
But then, why make it a war? Out there on that busy street, tears rather mysteriously flowing, really everybody won.