October 2018 Newsletter, by the Rev’d Derwyn Williams.
Deep calls to deep In the thunder of your waterfalls: all your breakers and waves have gone over me. (Psalm 417)
I wonder — what are the deepest experiences your life has brought you? Which moments do you remember vividly, as moments that really mattered, really touched you, deep down in your being, really hit home and counted?
Would it be witnessing the birth of your child, setting eyes on your helpless infant for the first time, and knowing your life is fundamentally changed? Would It be holding the hand of a beloved parent, spouse, or friend, as they slipped out of this life, confronting you with the mortality we all share? Would it be the heady intoxication of falling in love — the profound grace of finding another human being to commit your whole earthly life to? Where, I wonder, has depth broken in to your life?
Perhaps you’ve felt the touch of God when these moments of deep experience have broken through. Perhaps you sense him when you’re transported by an amazing mountain vista, or music that grips your soul, or an astounding work of art that seizes your attention and stuns you. Perhaps he has made himself known to you in a deep moment of prayerful silence, when the hubbub and crush of the world has vanished, and eternity’s profound stillness has invaded. Perhaps scripture has spoken a deep word of divine address, that lodged at your heart’s centre, and still resides there.
I hope so. I do hope so. Because when we meet God seriously the experience is one of depth. His is the deepest love available in the universe. He is the deepest truth we can know. He is our strength when the deepest trouble seizes us. He bestows the deepest joy we can find. If one of those moments of depth breaks in to our life, God is especially there, if we will but seek and recognise him.
Going Deeper into God is one of the themes of Living God’s Love, and it’s a good reminder of what we aim for and pray for in the life of the church. It’s what we’ll be trying to encourage at our next Exploring Prayer Day, on Saturday 20 October, to which you’ll be very welcome, if you’re able to join in. Often it’s when we offer time and attention to God in a significant way, that we come closest to him and wade further out into his ocean.
But God’s depth is available to us each and every day, if we take time to seek and sense it. Will you do so, I wonder, next time you pray or come to church? Step away from the hurried superficiality which touches so much of life? Will you stop, remember profound moments when God has touched your past, and pray for that deep touch again, upon your present and future? Ask him to crash over you like a powerful sea, as the psalmist sang, so many centuries ago?
Then, I pray, you’ll feel and hear God’s profound voice deep within your life, as Augustine wrote in his Confessions:
The wondrous depth of your utterances, whose surface may be flattering to the childish, but the wondrous depth, my God, the wondrous depth! It gives one a shudder to peer into it — a shudder of awe, and a tremor of love!
Blessings from Derwyn.