We are called to love God with the heart, soul, mind and strength. I have at times wondered what it means to love God with the soul.
I think of loving God with my heart to mean that desires are being shaped to love God. This happens when I read, say, Kierkegaard or Tolkien or Dostoevsky. Loving God with my mind is like reading Alvin Plantinga, Charles Taylor or Jamie Smith. To love God with my strength is to love him with the works of my hands.
So what does it really mean to love God with my soul?
I did not quite understand the answer to this question until I was walking down the Jamaica beach in Galveston at 2:00 am on a Saturday morning. I realized that to love God with my soul is to be deeply moved by a sheer display of His brilliant majesty in a way that bypasses my heart and mind and reaches deep into my unconscious, my soul, to lift it up into an ecstasy (in the truest sense of that word) to a posture of absolute submission and worship of God.
I was spending the weekend with some friends from Church at a beach house in Galveston. Before I was about to sleep, I realized if there was something worth loosing sleep over, it would be to experience what it feels like to talk a walk along the beach at 2:00 am in the morning. There were a few words welled up from within my unconscious, my soul. I have tried to capture that elusive feeling in words, as pitiable as the attempt may be. If there was something worth allowing oneself to be made a fool of it is to attempt to express the experience of beauty that so moved ones heart. So here I go with my words of folly!
Rhythmic roar of the deep waters!
White lines of foam sliding over
Reaching out from the dark water
The ominous shaped clouds afar
So full of sound and fury
Yet signifying something
From beyond the Horizon
Yet so near, Lord of hosts!
Who set the foundations of Earth
And the boundaries of furious waters
An encounter with awesome Nature
An encounter with the almighty Creator
Un-curving my inwardly curved self
Shattering my self-importance
Saving the puny me from myself
By a sheer display of His vast Majesty
To stand still and look with my eyes
To be enchanted onto my knees
To be moved in my soul. To sing Hallelujah!
Over the rhythmic roar of the deep waters.