When I read John Newton’s remarks in my post titled “The deep things of God” on Saturday the 13th, regarding his visit with a mentally handicapped girl where he said –
“Sometimes when her heart is enlarged I listen to her with astonishment. I think no books or ministers I ever met with have given me such an impression and understanding of what the apostle calls ‘The deep things of God’ as I have upon some occasions received from her conversation.”
I had to stop and consider what he meant by “The deep things of God’.
I think that day he went to the hospital to share his faith. He knew not in what manner he would share it, either by word, deed, prayer, but off to share it he went. I picture him meeting this girl, who had some degree of mental handicap, and he thought that he would share his faith in words with her or maybe share a deed of kindness, when he came to find that Christ had visited her heart, and in spite of her mental capacity, Christ’s love poured out of her heart in profound simplicity, such as Newton had never witnessed or felt even among great scholars. Her infectious love for the Savior no doubt humbled him and simultaneously caused him to exalt in the mercies of God. He, who came to share, was rapt up in God’s presence as this simpleminded girl rejoiced in God’s love.
I believe these are ‘the deep things of God’; when we have a deep spiritual connection with someone in the midst of serving our God; worshiping in spirit and truth.
It makes no difference how we choose to share our faith; sharing our faith is the act of living out a conviction we hold by faith in the Lord’s teachings. It may be we share our faith in the goodness of doing a kind deed; it may be applying bandages to the wounded as an expression of our faith in Christ’s love, feeding the hungry or it may be we give a word of testimony to a stranger who has never heard the Gospel message. However we act upon our faith, so long as we “Do everything in love”, 1Co. 16:14, it becomes a pleasing sacrifice and this is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus; these are the deep things of God.
This connection that God often graces our deeds of love with is what I think astonished John Newton as he talked with this girl. We too, sense His love in our deeds; where our souls unite with the person we serve in word or deed, and we are moved by God’s manifest love. Sometimes simply displayed by holding a hand we would not like to let go of.
As I look back over my posts this last year, I think this post by Newton and the July 2nd, 5th, and 15th posts by Kay Warren have left indelible marks on my spirit.
Marks left by the deep things of God.
Photo by Sheri Doty