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Cariad Duw - God's Love

Yesterday, our evening worship was led by one of our first language Welsh speakers, and was a reflection on God's love based on a Welsh-language acrostic of CARIAD.  Alas since I am at church and the order of service is at home, I cannot recall what all the letters represented in the correct order, but among them were friendship/fellowship, meekness, patience, gentleness and Jesus.  The one that stood out was the 'R' which was a word that meant 'the heart of the tree' the strong inner core that fuels growth and that withstands trials.  Pondering further, it is something that is unseen (unless you cut down the tree - a sacrificial/crucifixion resonance perhaps?).  I loved this new insight into the love of God, as being like the hidden, strong heart of the tree.  Because there is no such word in English (and indeed it transpires it was a word unknown by at least one of our Welsh speakers!) it is a concept we would not naturally arrive at, yet when we are alerted to it, it immediately resonates.

Such is the gift of the diversity of languages, that in each and every tongue are words, phrases and concepts that don't automatically arise in others.  I pondered this same wonder last Wednesday at the prayer gathering, where we sang, in English translation, a Nigerian worship song, at one level very simple, but at another giving new - or at least refreshed - insight in to the characteristics of God... "How excellent is your name, Oh God"... not a phrase your typical Brit would use, but yet when you hear it, it is obviously true. 

God transforms Babel to Pentecost - it's not just something the hymnists and theologians claim, it's a fact.  Diversity of language offers us more, not less, opportunity to discover the wonder of cariad Duw.

So, may the big-hearted, strong-hearted, tree-hearted and most excellent love of God surround you and all creation, this day and everyday.

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