The Rippling Tide of Love
Conwy Estuary at low water
‘All dyfroedd y môr ddim diffodd cariad; all llifogydd mo’i ysgubo i ffwrdd.’
Caniad Solomon 8:7
‘Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.’
Song of Songs 8:7
flows secretly out from God into the soul
and it draws back mightily to its source’.
So said Mechtild of Magdeburg, in “The Flowing Light of Godhead”. The image speaks of rhythmic movement and may be in contrast to what many are currently feeling. I am hearing a number of people say how difficult it is to keep going. The emotional cost of not being able to do much of what we want, when we want, with whom we want is proving increasingly costly. Feelings of tiredness, anger and/or anxiety are increasingly common companions along with a sense of emptiness.
This perceived lack of resources got me wondering what might be going on and whether there was an invitation for thinking differently, despite those understandable feelings of emptiness.
Today’s photograph comes from one of my recent walks. I was struck by this exceedingly low tide: Afon Conwy did indeed look empty! The reason for this was due to unseen forces at work – the gravitational pull of the moon had drawn the river out to an extraordinary extent. Seeing all the patterns left in the sand reminded me of Mechtild’s perspective: ‘The rippling tide of love flows secretly out from God into the soul and it draws back mightily to its source’.
Each day has a rhythm of flowing out and being drawn back. Mechtild reminds us to stay connected to the Source of Love. Too often many end their day considering the things that have been achieved, consumed, or controlled. Mechtild invites us to review our day by focussing on our giving and receiving of God’s love. This is the only measure worth using. She knows that God’s love is energising. It brings us joy.
Of course, it doesn’t necessarily change our circumstances, but importantly, it changes our response. Our increased capacity for Love brings us hope, and hope is what builds resilience when life is tough. God longs for each one of us to give Him our full attention as He seeks to draw us back mightily to the source of Love, day in, day out.
The question is: Will I let myself be drawn back mightily to the source of Love?
Lord, be with us to guide us,
Within us to strengthen us,
Without us to protect us,
Above us to raise us,
Beneath us to uphold us,
Before us to lead us,
Behind us to guard us,
This day and evermore;
This day and evermore.
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