On a beautiful autumn day in May, I arrived in the bridal car, driven and escorted by my Dad, to the church where I was to be married. I waited in the foyer, the tiny Baby’s Breath flowers in my bouquet trembling – the result of a mix of nervousness and anticipation and excitement. The train of my dress was laid out and my veil adjusted. I don’t know who was appointed to signal my arrival but on this queue, I heard a voice begin to sing to me. I was sung down the aisle to a song called, “Now you come to me”. The song was a calling to come to him, my groom – it was a love song. I would walk into his arms, into a new life, into the promises and vows he would make to me, and into the embrace of his love.
I was sung into love. It was an invite into a relationship with the one who loved me.
Years before, in fact at the dawn of time, was another song sung to me. The poetry of One who is pure Love sang me into existence from the depths of His heart. Desire formed firstly within, then became sung words of invite into intimacy with God Himself.
“…before the foundation of the world he chose me to become, in Christ, his holy and blameless child living within his constant care. He planned, in his purpose of love, that I should be adopted as his own child through Jesus Christ—that I might learn to praise that glorious generosity of his which has made me welcome in the everlasting love he bears towards the Son” (Ephesians1:3-5, J.B Phillips).
Love called me out.
How I wish my girlfriends could know what I am coming to know for myself – they are a song of the heart sung into existence. Truly absolutely loved into being. God is Love. He doesn’t just love, He is pure Love. It is who He is. Love gave birth to words and from these words came life – their lives. They are the physical expression of their Lover. They are the poetry of His heart. They are the delight and pleasure and passion and desire of the One who is Perfect Love.
Word is the expressed thought of God, so when He says,
“Let there be…and it was so” (Genesis 1, NIV),
it is the combination of One who is the Sovereign Creator, who is Love in essence, and whose Word when spoken comes into being.
They, my girlfriends, are the words sung into being by,
“God is Love…” (1 John 4:16, NIV)
who is the Word,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1-2, NIV),
who had the power to bring those words into being,
“Through him all things were made” (John 1:3, NIV),
– words that came first from his heart, flowed through his mouth, creating the flesh and blood, the personality and uniqueness of them, my girlfriends.
“You have to go to that broken place of your heart to write songs. They say sometimes it’s like open heart surgery, making music. Every time it is invasive” (Lady Gaga).
The rare times and stumbling attempts I’ve had at writing poetry or the lyrics of a song have been times where I have sought to express the deep emotion of my heart. How beautiful it is, that from the pure, unbroken heart of God, an invasiveness began – where from longing, the desire came to create.
No longer only to be experienced purely within the complete union of the Three-in-One God, love and desire for intimate connection and relationship with humanity, came forth. And Love was so expanse, that each one created was done so from the purity of this Love, deeming each as very good, greatly loved.
In The Magician’s Nephew, written by C.S Lewis, is a fictional, allegory-type retelling of Creation, and of the Creator singing into existence the heavens, the earth, and all its inhabitants. I remember its song and not the details, but the idea of the song implied such beauty and harmony and an intimacy in the creation by this Creator. It was poetry. Creation brought into existence through the impassioned, excited pleasure of this One giving of His heart into something deemed so deeply intimate and desired.
Norman Wirzba in Way of Love writes,
“As Christians tried to make sense of God’s creation work, they concluded that the world comes to us ex nihilo, “from nothing.” …[The] mistake, however was to think that this idea was a scientific formulation. It isn’t. To say that all creatures come “from nothing” is not to give a casual account of some ‘nothing’ out of which things then come. It is, rather, to assert that there is nothing that compelled or constrained God in making anything…The only reason things exist is because God loves them into being, which is to say that creation is ex amore, “from love.” Creation is God’s free act, the spontaneous eruption and the material manifestation of the eternal love that is the core of the divine life. Everything that exists is gratuitous and is witness to God’s incomprehensible and miraculous love” (The Way of Love, Page 51).
Created ex amore, “from love.”
Words in the form of prose as I have always read them before from the accounts in Genesis – factual and information giving, beautiful but in a way cold and distant – are read and seen now as a song. It is the song sung by the bridegroom of humanity, inviting us into life, into love.
The Greek word, poiema is where we get our English word, poem or poetry from. It is the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts. Prose, its opposite, is the ordinary form of spoken or written language. Somehow in our modern world of scientific and industrial thinking, prose hid the poetry of creation and of the creation of humanity, calling it “workmanship” or “masterpiece”. This rendering is dim in its expression of the heart of this Artist and Poet. Poiema is used 29 times in the Bible, all which speak of the “work of his hands” as more than something just made. Scholar after scholar is beginning to understand that this word poiema is art of the most masterful design, a poetic masterpiece created by the great Artisan. We and all of creation are the work of his hands, yes, but formed from the emotion of his heart – a deeper workmanship than just the formation of something. It is work born out of the heart, something from lofty, beautiful, imaginative thought becoming material.
I am the expression of Divine poetry. This is my being.
“How precious are Your thoughts towards me” (Psalm 139:17, NIV).
“St. Paul says that we are the expression of the mind of God…The poem depends entirely upon the poet for its creation. It is the unveiling of the deepest and most intimate secrecies of his heart…Men…are God’s poems. The intimacies of God’s heart are expressed in man—God’s highest thoughts, God’s deepest emotions…” (James Hastings, Precept Austin).
God sang me into existence, and He continues calling me into relationship, declaring the intimate secrets of His heart toward me, calling me into His perfection, in song,
“He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17, NKJV).
Beyond anything I know, are the feelings this stirs within me. That I was born from something so beautiful – impassioned words of the heart – for love. That God would sing to me, creates within the feeling that the deepest spiritual need of me is being filled, the need to be loved to my very soul. A need that only came when the song could no longer be heard in the Garden like something was meant to be – but is lost. When the song could be heard, there was need for nothing, but when the song could no longer be deciphered, there came the need to be of worth, to be affirmed, to be loved, to be known, to be accepted, to belong.
Would not those – broken by love, hurt by abuse and misuse, where love has failed them and disappointed them – come to know, and to hear again the song being sung, that they are a song of the heart sung into existence? Would it not quiet the soul of them who are on a constant search for a place to find rest, and for one who will love them deeply and truly? Would it not speak of their worth and their value? God, You are this Poet – the Lover of their Souls. They are Your poem in a world of prose. And how could this knowledge of being greatly, deeply, purely, perfectly loved, not fail to rewrite those defiant words, that come from within, from the depth of their pain, “Don’t you dare love me”?
You told Hosea to “Love her (Gomer) as the LORD loves” (Hosea 3:1, NIV). You have said to me, “Let me love you and I will love you”. Your love began with a song.
Continued in next week’s blog…