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A man went to church with an angel as guide. The church was filled, but oddly, there was no sound. The organist played, but no music could be heard; the choir’s lips moved, but no song came forth. The pastor went through the motions of preaching, but the man heard nothing. He asked the angel, "Why?" The angel’s reply: "This is the service as God sees it. When there is no heart in it, there is no sound." Then in the back pew he heard a child pray, "Our Father, who art in heaven ..." The angel said, "You are hearing the only part God hears, that which comes from the heart."

[W.B. Knight, Treasury of 2000 Illustrations, p 447]

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