There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea…”
These words were written by Frederick William Faber, and published in his collection of hymns in 1862. An author, and a composer of numerous songs, Faber was a friend of William Wordsworth, and a poet in his own right. Many of his hymns, including the beautiful There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy, are still sung today.
For some reason, my mind has been lingering over words from the past, even on some of the earliest words of ancient cultures etched in stone or carried down to us, and I have found myself thinking about the power of our words, and the energy that they carry forward. Some words come down to us filled with hate and sordidness. Others come to us from the past like a fresh mountain spring with summer’s light dancing across it.
I wonder what future generations will think when they read our words. The ones we are writing this week, and putting in newspapers, in books, in media—everywhere that writing can occur. Words create the atmosphere around us, in our homes, our personal lives, and in our entire culture.
So I find myself wondering —what are we creating?
Frederick Faber’s words, written some 150 years ago, created in me a sense of peace, a deep breath, and a sigh. They have set me to thinking. What will I create with my own words, going forward?
Frederick Faber’s beautiful song includes these words near the end:
For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of our mind
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.