What words do we ever have to express our love well?

by Hilary Horn

By Talitha Fraser

Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love

What words do we ever have to express our love well? This is said by Orlando as he puts a poem in tree, Act III Scene II of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. He is in the woods to escape from his brother who is trying to kill him and his love, Rosalind, is also there banished from Court and disguised as a man.  As you’d expect – it is a play with comedy, tragedy and rife with misunderstandings.  The poems, or love letters to Rosalind, are nonsensical, unflattering and rhyme poorly… they’re bad. They’re bad poems. That’s what makes them so funny. But for all that, they are endearing for being sincerely felt. Orlando doesn’t know whether Rosalind will ever find them and read them but there is something in him to say that cannot go unexpressed.

I can relate to that feeling.  A longing to express something profound – a love I don’t have words for.  What faltering words do I have to try and describe God or to worship God that hasn’t already been said before? What does it look like to love God, to be so consumed by a love of God that it spills over, and you struggle to shape mere words to describe a love so large… how might it look to say what you want to say without weighing its value but freely giving voice to your feelings and thoughts as they come?

I want to talk to God. I want to talk about the joy, the grief and the misunderstandings. I want to talk to God in poems and journals, prayers – silent and spoken, reading, walking, talking, storytelling… and via notes left in the trees for God to find. I took paper (biodegradable with native daisy seeds pressed in it), a pen and a prayerful walk in the woods.  It felt like a foolish thing to do… and it felt wonderful.  I cannot know if this was an offering that was pleasing to God but I hope it was endearing for being sincerely felt.

Romans 8:25-28 invites us to wait with patience for what we cannot see and trust the Spirit to intercede and translate on our behalf to make simple words profoundly meaningful to the God who loves us… to the God who’s listening…

Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love

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1 comment

Fools for love | itellyouarise March 13, 2018 - 3:06 pm

[…] This piece is a story of the time I stuck up bad poetry all of the woods like Orlando from As You Like It…. you can read more here […]

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