A Writer's Prayer
Nearly a century ago, the song lyrics and music were created. Frederick Lehman, in 1917, wrote "The Love of God."
The third stanza comes from the lyrics of the poem, "Hadamut," penned in 1096, by a Jewish cantor, Rabbi Mayer of Germany. Later, in 1917, pastor Frederick Lehman used lines from this poem as the third stanza in his hymn, "The Love of God."
"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 third stanza is a word picture that any writer can understand. The sky is an endless writing surface. The oceans contain an unlimited supply of ink. Every person who is alive or has ever lived has the opportunity to write on this page. The topic: God's love.
As a writer, I love the look and feel of words on paper. That song speaks of a writer's fantasy. What if the whole sky were an endless blank page? No word limits. No lack of space. No deadlines. what if every person who has known the love of God, who has experienced his working in their lives, could write for the world to see?
Another word picture: I'm standing in the middle of two rows of book shelves, as high as I can read or reach, as far behind me as I can see, and stretching endlessly into the future, to a mere dot on the horizon. All of these volumes have but one theme - God's demonstration of His great love for mankind, throughout all of HIStory.
Would it be possible to fill that many volumes with what we know of the Lord? Probably, but it's not necessary. God has provided all that we need, in one volume that can be held in my hand.
The Spirit of the Lord prompted John to write:
"Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31)
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. (John 21:25)
On second thought, that endless sky and limitless ink are a reality. Today we call it "internet." And today we have the opportunity to write for all the world to see. It is an open door of opportunity for any scribe who will take up the task. It could be a sermon, a blog, a retelling of an encounter with the living Lord. It may look like songs, or poetry, or stories of seeing the hand of God at work in everyday life. Whatever we write, or whatever we share of the writings of others, is it helping to fill up the vast expanse of parchment available to us?
Father, let the words of my mouth [and my hand], and the meditations of my heart, be pleasing in your sigh, and may they be written so that men and women will believe, and have everlasting life in Him. (Psalm 19:14)
** all scripture from the NIV version.
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