Ironically, it is hard to overstate my love of hyperbole! This is one of the greatest literary devices. It provides the foundation for much of my writing and humour. This gimmick of exaggeration, not intended to deceive, actually unveils truth and drives it home with power. My affection for hyperbole knows no bounds.
My natural story teller’s bent toward hyperbole continues to run head long into two truths that do not lend themselves to exaggeration. In fact there are two truths that simply cannot be exaggerated.
The first is God’s love, or better put the fact that God is love. This love is His very nature. It is boundless and eternal. Its depth cannot be plumbed. Its height cannot be scaled. Its width beyond imagination and its duration is infinite. The love of God (his nature) cannot be fully expressed, let alone exaggerated, by human tongue or pen. It does find expression though at the cross! There we see the self-giving Love poured out on that cruel tree. Love finds its full expression beyond all hyperbole at the cross. Nailed there in malice Love forgives. “Father forgive them they know not what they do.” The hymn writer expresses, as best we can, “Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small…” Such love can never be exaggerated!
The second thing that cannot be exaggerated is the hostility of our fleshly nature to God and his love. Romans 8:7 talks about our minds being “hostile”, this goes beyond saying that in our flesh we harbour hostility, but actually says our nature is hostile. The fallen nature of flesh is not described as being black it is named as blackness itself! It is not at enmity, it is enmity itself! It is not sometimes rebellious but is rebellion itself. One cannot exaggerate the opposition a life run on self-will exhibits toward the rule and reign of God himself.
The pitch black unimaginable darkness of self-will only serves to highlight the inexpressible love of God. No hyperbole is needed or warranted. No story teller could ever rival the evangel, the story of Good News that the God of love loves us though we are enemies. His love transforms and make enemies his friends. I may slip back into self-will but that is no longer my nature. I am being transformed. I am a loved child and though I may not be all I ought, I am not what I was. His love transforms.
Last week at our “Finding Your Way Back to God” a woman shared her story of a mother who did not love her as a mother ought. She carried a lot of hurt and baggage because of this deficit. This week she shared how the Father was transforming her. She described “the air going out” of her anger toward her mother. She is experiencing a new peace! This is a peace that comes as we are transformed from enemies of the God of love to friends. Transformation can only come from a power beyond us, a power beyond hyperbole. It comes through the unfathomable love of God.
I am glad that the world still contains much that I can exaggerate, but I am most pleased that God’s love will never be one of them.