The Love of God on the Walls of a Prison Cell

Being bound by anything can be so exhausting, whether it be a job, debt, addiction, or all of the above. Henry David Thoreau said that men often lead lives of quiet desperation. God provides a way of escape for those who seek it or, better yet, pay attention to the exit signs (I Corinthians 10:13). For many years, my life was filled with desperate acts of trying hard to fill the holes in my life. I rushed at various things, hoping to satisfy a need of accomplishment or gratification. I was already blessed beyond my perceived worth but chose to ignore what had been richly bestowed on me, mainly my wife and children, and focus on the negative. If I were never given anything but them in my life, I could never complain. My life is filled with joy that is given to me by a loving Savior.

Recently, my son sent me a Youtube video of a song that hammered my soul. It is an old hymn that holds such powerful and beautiful words. The amount of God’s love is unfathomable. Until a person experiences His true and pure love, there are very limited ways of explaining it. The third verse of “The Love of God” comes pretty close:

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.

These lines were discovered penciled on the wall of a narrow room in an American insane asylum by a man said to have been demented. The profound lines were discovered when they laid him in his coffin. It was later realized that whoever this poor soul was had recalled the lines from an ancient Jewish poem called “Akdamut.” Prison walls could not restrain the thoughts of the man from thinking about the purest form of Love. His temporary conditions were of no consequence to his place in God’s arms.

As I ride my bike around, I look at the blessings all around me. I breathe in God’s goodness and exhale the stress of life that attempts to bind me in darkness. If I am taken from this earth today, I have been blessed so much and have enjoyed the years given to me.


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