Knights of Faith

Most people live listless and dejected lives, knowing only the oscillation between earthly sorrows and joys. These are the timid souls who sit along the wall and do not join in the dance. The knights of faith are the dancers, and they can do what no other dancer can do: They possess the ability to elevate! They leap upward into the heavens and then gently come back down to earth. With their leap and their landing they live in two worlds, and they do it all very gracefully. If there is a slight moment of unsteadiness, it is only when they touch the ground; and this only shows that they are strangers in this world. To be able to leap into the heavens and lightly touch down on the earth, to transform the leap into a walk, all in a single motion, is something only the knights of faith can do. It is their art and their genius.

Was I inspired by Johannes de silentio in this? No doubt. This Friday night I’ll be preaching about the Knights of Faith. Hopefully this whets your appetite.

What am I listening to these days? Bob Dylan’s new album! His 44th album (yes, I have the other 43) and his first new studio album in five years.

Modern Times

My favorite song is the closer: Ain’t Talkin’. A nine minute rambling apocalyptic epic filled with Biblical imagery and prophetic portent.

Ain’t Talkin’
As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden
The wounded flowers were dangling from the vine
I was passing by yon cool crystal fountain
Someone hit me from behind

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Through this weary world of woe
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
No one on earth would ever know

They say prayer has the power to heal
So pray for me mother

In the human heart an evil spirit can dwell
I am a-tryin’ to love my neighbor and do good unto others
But oh, mother, things ain’t going well

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
I’ll burn that bridge before you can cross
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
There’ll be no mercy for you once you’ve lost

Now I’m all worn down by weeping
My eyes are filled with tears, my lips are dry
If I catch my opponents ever sleeping
I’ll just slaughter ’em where they lie

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Through the world mysterious and vague
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
Walkin’ through the cities of the plague.

Well, the whole world is filled with speculation
The whole wide world which people say is round
They will tear your mind away from contemplation
They will jump on your misfortune when you’re down

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Eatin’ hog eyed grease in a hog eyed town.
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
Some day you’ll be glad to have me around.

They will crush you with wealth and power
Every waking moment you could crack
I’ll make the most of one last extra hour
I’ll avenge my father’s death then I’ll step back

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Hand me down my walkin’ cane.
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
Got to get you out of my miserable brain.

All my loyal and my much-loved companions
They approve of me and share my code
I practice a faith that’s been long abandoned
Ain’t no altars on this long and lonesome road

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
My mule is sick, my horse is blind.
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
Thinkin’ ’bout that gal I left behind.

Well, it’s bright in the heavens and the wheels are flyin’
Fame and honor never seem to fade
The fire gone out but the light is never dyin’
Who says I can’t get heavenly aid?

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Carryin’ a dead man’s shield
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
Walkin’ with a toothache in my heel

The sufferin’ is unending
Every nook and cranny has its tears
I’m not playing, I’m not pretending
I’m not nursin’ any superfluous fears

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Walkin’ ever since the other night.
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
Walkin’ ’til I’m clean out of sight.

As I walked out in the mystic garden
On a hot summer day, a hot summer lawn
Excuse me, ma’am, I beg your pardon
There’s no one here, the gardener is gone

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’
Up the road, around the bend.
Heart burnin’, still yearnin’
In the last outback at the world’s end.

Music and words by Bob Dylan
Copyright 2006 Special Rider Music

Heart Burnin’, Still Yearnin’,