Where do we find inspiration? In the beauty of creation, in the face of a young child, in love given and love received, in a film, in a good book, or in the Good Book?
True inspiration takes us beyond time into eternity, it opens our soul to understand what is and what can be. From time to time I enjoy poetry, it seems to speak at a level that is deeper than logic and reason alone. It speaks to the soul.
The Bible is full of poetry – in the Psalms, the Song of Solomon, even in the New Testament. In both triumph and tragedy there is song for our hearts to express. Solomon wrote “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love”. Song of Songs ch. 8 v. 6
God’s love for us goes beyond this life and carries us into His heart in eternity. If our heart is to burn with passion, let it be with the twin beats of passion for God and passion for people. Relationships matter more than things. We must pray for a flame of love to fill our hearts, and ask God to teach us to love as He loves. Jesus told us the greatest command is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and the second is “Love your neighbour as yourself. Mt. ch. 22 v. 37 and 39. When we find it hard to love we must draw on God’s strength and love as He does. True love is not just a matter of following our feelings – they change. We must set our minds to act in a loving manner, and as we do, our feelings will follow our actions. In the season of St. Valentine, be a person who loves, even when it is tough.
One of my favourite poems is not a love poem, but
brings us nearer to the love of God.
by R. S. Thomas
A little aside from the main road,
becalmed in a last-century greyness,
there is the chapel, ugly, without the appeal
to the tourist to stop his car
and visit it. The traffic goes by,
and the river goes by, and quick shadows
of clouds, too, and the chapel settles
a little deeper into the grass.
But here once on an evening like this,
in the darkness that was about
his hearers, a preacher caught fire
and burned steadily before them
with a strange light, so that they saw
the splendour of the barren mountains
about them and sang their amens
fiercely, narrow but saved
in a way that men are not now.
Rev. Kevin Jones