If we could fill all of the ocean with ink, and turn the entire sky into paper; if we could transform every blade of grass into a pen and give every human being the tools to write with…
We would never be able to fully write and exhaust the concept of the love of God. It would drain the oceans of her ink and fill up the paper, though the breadth of it stretched across the sky.
Is that not a beautiful thought? I wish I could take credit for the simple brilliance of the imagery but it is not original with me. In fact those words were poetically penned many years ago, and are commonly sung as the third verse to the (appropriately titled) song: 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.
It is said that the words of that third verse were discovered scribbled on the wall of an insane asylum, written long ago by one of the inmates. If that is true, as it is commonly believed to be, then how incredible is it that such beautiful language was written by someone his peers deemed mentally unstable? Maybe he began to dwell on the love of God and realized he would never reach the limit of its understanding. Maybe he was so consumed by thoughts of God’s grace and of trying to fully explore it, that he was looked at by those around him as crazy. It wouldn’t be the first time something like that happened:
And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
As Paul preached to king Agrippa and as he spoke of the details of His conversion and His meeting with the risen Lord, he was accused of being insane (mad). But Paul was not crazy; he was just consumed.
As we all should be.