How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death."

- Elizabeth Barret Browning

I think you know Jesus has saved you when He starts drifting into your thoughts.  You may be sitting idly by on a park bench, watching strangers passing by, and somehow relate it to God.  The final destination of every train of thought always seems to be Him, the Creator, the Joy of Man’s Desiring.  Your mind may be be consumed by nothing and suddenly be filled with Scripture and murmurs of His love.  You begin to see all things with a new lens, like trying on a new pair of glasses.  All that was hazy becomes clear, the veil is removed, the blind can see, the puzzle is complete.

I can see God in a meticulous painting, a love song, a piece of poetry, but also in small acts of kindness (seemingly insignificant but oh-so precious and universe-altering); a mother bird stuffing her chicks with food; a young father carrying his tiny daughter up on his shoulders; a beautiful flower in an empty, weed-ridden field.

I can see the Word in people’s hearts; everyone seems to carry around bits of scripture with them, of course not in exact wordings and referenced to the precise book and page and verse numbers, and they won’t have everything completely right, but I can see the seeds of truth there, waiting to be nurtured and grow and blossom.

I can’t describe how one can arrive at this place, just that it involves a lot of letting go, letting your mind be opened, surrendering your pride.  Sometimes, in the distractions of life, you can lose sight of this secret place and how you first reached it, and you wonder desperately how to get back – you may work as hard as you can, ask for directions, turn the map over incessantly, but the moment you just lie down and stop trying, you’ll find that place again, you will be touched by that love again, and you will realize that you were there all along.  You simply forgot to smell the roses, to listen instead of speak, and you thought you’d grown accustomed to the sights and smells, but in your searching you didn’t realize that a new sapling was growing nearby, the flowers were changing, and there were new patterns in the sky.  This place is home, it’s always changing, but it’s always there, and always, in many ways, the same place you fell in love with when you first moved in.

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4 thoughts on “How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways

  1. So that’s what you have been doing……….drinking in all the fresh goodness of God? Well Ada, this post is soaked with it.

    Great start and warm thoughts to a new year, which I’m hoping for you.

    There needs to be a better button than ‘like’ for this one. Well done and inspiring.

    Like

    • Well, I guess you could say I was feeling thirsty, so I decided to drink from the living well. You always get more than you ask for when you do that, though; you think you’ll just be having a sip but then you’re lying in bed singing praises and cranking out a blog post. 🙂

      Happy New Year, friend, and may you rejoice in the Lord throughout it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely, Ada! Drinking Him in, quite a delightful way to start the New Year. That “lie down and stop trying,” that’s that “be still and know that I am.” I get busy and life gets noisy and sometimes I think God has gone somewhere, but of course, He never wanders off, I do sometimes.

    Like

    • You know, it’s funny because that’s what some people say when you get lost in the mall or some other crowded place as a kid. Don’t panic and run around searching, just stay in one spot for mom or dad to pick you up. It’s kind of the same thing with the Lord – “Stop running, stop panicking, I’m here. Wait on me and I will speak to you.” I love those days when you can recharge with God – He gives you some glimpses of Paradise.

      Hope you have a happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

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