Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above, Would drain the ocean dry. Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky. ~from the hymn “The Love of God”
by Frederick Lehman, derived from Jewish poem Haddamut,
written in Aramaic in 1050 by Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai
We try to wrap our arms and minds around that which is so immense, so infinite, so eternal, so mysterious, so unimaginable — in the hope we can hold it in our consciousness, even if momentarily.
We can try with metaphor and parable and poetry and our finite imagination.
Yet God’s love permeates everything from the empty space between tiny atomic particles to the clinging/flinging forces of the galaxies in the vast universe. It is impossible to fathom or describe.
We may try but we can’t — and simply be the image bearers we were created to be.
Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it. ~Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet
The sunrise this morning kept giving and giving, vanquishing the darkness through an illumination that made all things, even the sorry and the plain, beautiful.
So is the love of one person for another, reflecting the Light that illuminates us all, even to the depths of our shadows.
May we too give and give without ceasing, our plainness made beautiful, our shadows no more.
In the silence of the morning your Spirit hovers over the brink of the day and a new light pierces the darkness of the night. In the silence of the morning life begins to stir around me and I listen for the day’s utterances. In earth, sea and sky and in the landscape of my own soul I listen for utterances of your love, O God. I listen for utterances of your love. ~J Philip Newell from Celtic Benediction, Morning and Night Prayer
….she approaches the world with only one giant, indiscriminate expectation: delight me.
…the gift of having a child is rediscovering discovery, of reuniting with awe. It’s perhaps my second favorite part of parenting, second only to the slow, mind-blowing, heartsploding reveal of who our tiniest teacher is.
~Courtney Martin from “Reuniting with Awe”
What I know for sure is this: We come from mystery and we return to mystery. I arrived here with no bad memories of wherever I’d come from, so I have no good reason to fear the place to which I’ll return. And I know this, too: Standing closer to the reality of death awakens my awe at the gift of life.
I’m old enough to know that the world can delight me, so my expectation is not of the world but of myself: