The Ground of Love

snow light over barn

The earth, O Lord, is full of your love.

The Psalmist prays this singular line fixing our attention on the center truth of the universe. Interspersed among other words describing acute distress, affliction, lies, entangling wickedness, rage and derision, this single-line prayer, in the most literal sense, grounded him.

These sparse words grounded him in God’s kind faithfulness by grounding him in the very dirt on which he knelt. The earth, goes the prayer, is full of God’s love. Not the temple. Not his friendships. Not the fulfillment of miraculous provision. Not even, in this case, Holy Scripture. But the dirt – the boulders and the pebbles and the shrubs and the miles-deep stratum of soil, rock and shale – course with the relentless love of God.

And this love of which the Psalmist speaks is defined by compassion, tenderness, a heart-rich kindness that will not let loose. The Latin word is misericordia, a tenacious love pursuing those whose hearts know too well the miseries of this world.

The ground on which we walk and live, struggle and weep, dance and make love, pulses with God’s active, tender mercy. In the truest sense, we are held up, every moment of our life, by love.

2 Replies to “The Ground of Love”

  1. I was thinking about this awhile back, that as far as I can tell, there’s no holy sky, only holy ground (in scripture). My kids, 4 and 6, are still pretty sure God exists somewhere “up there” and it’s a struggle and delight to try to teach them where else God exists.
    Your post reminds me of Julian of Norwich’s sense that everything is held together by divine love.
    I’ve been struck by this “holding” of God and just posted about it today.

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