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Archive for April 8th, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 7.30.45 AM

A good story teller, a good poet, will always include visuals for our brains to hold onto, so that, though we may forget their words, we will not forget their story, their message.

I have always believed that the best story-teller, the best and most creative writer of the poetry and stories of our lives is God, the creator, father, redeemer.

His story is even grander than the Grand Canyon.

Recently an old hymn (about one hundred years) has been playing in my head, but I didn’t hear it until the other morning.

… actually, I heard it, but I wasn’t listening

As I awoke Saturday, with the morning sky still awaiting to break, with the rains pouring down, I began to listen and hear the words, the message,

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.

The words began to form images in my mind, that kept me from thinking of anything else (perhaps that was the intent of God, who had a message).

The evening before my mind was full of a good message on the phone, a bad message on social media and a most frustrating message via email. I was too inwardly focused to even pray, so I did all that I knew to do, and asked that sweet handful of trusted friends to pray.

My early morning alone, became a reminder that joy comes in the morning … after the storm, after the storming down of heaven’s gates by faithful friends. After my eyes were refocused … off of myself.

Those words from the hymn, The Love of God. The first two verses and chorus written by Frederick Martin Lehman, but the third (above) goes back much further into history.

The words of the third verse were found, inscribed on the wall in a room of an insane asylum, after the patient died. It was later discovered that those words were written by  Jewish poet, Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai, in 1050, and can be found in Rabbi Hertz’ “Book of Jewish Thought” for the synagogue Pentecost celebrations.

Perhaps it is because the Hebrew language is a spoken one, stories and poems told, over and over again, from generation to generation. Those which have survived the ultimate test of time, often the ones which create visuals in the minds of hearers. The word pictures searing eternity onto the minds and hearts of those who heard.

The longevity of those words, perfectly inserted into a song about the vastness of the love of God.

Words, written just a millennium after the death of Christ … the greatest imagery of the promise of redemption, of love, used in the prophesy of the Old Testament.

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

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.

Refrain:
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

 

 

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