How Can I Love You?
Note: Sometimes we forget the incredible “gifting” of people within ABCRM. For years we have provided written devotionals. This week, we want to provide a video devotional by Rev. Kimberly Salico-Diehl who is the pastor at American Baptist Church of Fort Collins. For those who know her, she is a gifted pianist, song writer, and pastor. She also has a generous heart that seeks to live out the command to “Love God and love others.”
An internal and personal meditation on the hymn:
"Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise" ( by Walter Chalmers Smith).
Tune for the Hymn - St Denio - Public Domain.
This song is influenced by words from "The Cloud of Unknowing." The questions "How Can I know you?" and "How Can I Love You? " were on my heart when I sat down to record a piano improvisation on the hymn - but it turned into something else. Most of the lyrics are from that hymn (Kimberly).
Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise …
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes.
Most blessed, most glorious
The Ancient of Days.
How can I know you?
Why do you know me?
Immortal, Invisible, God only wise.
Your justice like mountains
Soar above you clouds
Which are fountains of goodness…
Of goodness and love.
Why do You love?
How can I love you?
You are Love.
Love the One I Cannot Know
“Now you say, 'How shall I proceed to think of God as God is in God’s self?'" To this I can only reply, "I do not know." With this question you bring me into the very darkness and cloud of unknowing that I want you to enter. A person may know completely and ponder thoroughly every created thing and its works, yes, and God’s works, too, but not God God’s self. Thought cannot comprehend God. And so, I prefer to abandon all I can know, choosing rather to love The One whom I cannot know. Though we cannot know God we can love God. By love God may be touched and embraced, never by thought. Of course, we do well at times to ponder God’s majesty or kindness for the insight these meditations may bring. But in the real contemplative work you must set all this aside and cover it over with a cloud of forgetting. Then let your loving desire, gracious and devout, step bravely and joyfully beyond it and reach out to pierce the darkness above.”
- The Cloud of Unknowing, 14th century, trans., William Johnston (slightly edited).
Rev. Kimberly Salico-Diehl
American Baptist Church of Fort Collins