How wide

Walking in the rain


We sit upstairs, eating our breakfast, watching as the people walk past our house. From this vantage point, we can see a snapshot of people’s lives – and they, rarely looking up, can’t see us. Sometimes it feels like we should be sitting there with popcorn, my boy and me, as we look and comment on the people below and imagine their lives.


A woman goes past with a big black dog, walking briskly, focused ahead, comfortable shoes, big strides. I don’t know whether she is excited to get to her day or trying to distract with the speed.


A lady, grey hair, shrivelled hands, pushes her trolley with tartan up the sides. I can’t hear it, but I imagine the wheels squeaking and creaking, because that’s how she looks too – the creakiness of old age and the everyday pain of living.


Three boys pass, in identical black clothing, their individuality stamped by their hairstyles: brushed forward or cut short or wiry and everywhere. They move as one, in a slow-moving mob, knit together somehow even as they want to shout their uniqueness.


These are the people who pass today. And God holds them all – how does He know all of our lives?

Sometimes I need to know the depth of God in my heart, how passionately and hugely he loves us. Today I am reflecting on the breadth of His love, that sweeps in the totality of ages and races and minutes and days, across oceans and nations.


I am not capable of loving that widely. I am glad that He is.


“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:17b-19a NIV)

Over to you:

  • Which do you most need to reflect on today: the breadth or the depth of God’s love?


This was my best five minutes on ‘Wide’. Also linking with

Beholding Glory

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20 Responses to How wide

  1. Genevieve 21st September, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    I came over to read, just to be nourished, encouraged. Another soul ache for me today. I needed to be reminded how wide His love is, because today I would rather NOT be loved if it means another loved one going through hell on earth. The Refiner’s fire never goes out. Sometimes that gets the better of me. Love to you, Tanya!

    • Tanya 22nd September, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      I’m heading over to your place now to deliver a large virtual hug.

  2. Student Mom (Jenn) 21st September, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    Amazing isn’t it? We’re all linked by God’s thread, even though we’re convinced we’re nothing like the people around us. I don’t wear black and skulk down the road with my friends, but I too yearn for special friends that get me. I’m not pushing a trolley, but some days my load feels that heavy. Through it all God links us. amazing.
    In from 5 Minutes.

    • Tanya 21st September, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

      I love the way you express this! Thank you.

  3. Jenn LeBow 21st September, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    This is one of my favorite aspects of people watching, too! I never get over marveling at His creativity in making so many different models of the same basic idea. If I could make a person, I’d make one, look at it, and say, “Yep. That’s all I’ve got. Good one.” Not God. Billions of us. And able to love us all. Amazing.

    • Tanya 21st September, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

      That’s such a cool way of looking at it! Even the snow flakes are unique. That definitely is the difference between God and us- we manufacture, God creates. (although we create too…) ah, you know what I mean! Lovely to see you, as ever!

  4. Cassi 21st September, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Your last line is soo great.

    • Tanya 21st September, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

      Thanks, Cassi!

  5. Kim 21st September, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Cool vantage point. Isn’t amazing to stop and truly imagine all the life and love that we each represent? Sometimes I notice nothing but the blur who are people moving about me. Sometimes, the miracle of each breath which each of us, a universe, breathes, floors me.

    And, to think that God knows us all, every last one of us. “He holds all things together…” what a job?

    • Tanya 21st September, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

      Yes! I get a bit freaked out when I consider the quantity of people in the universe – it’s all blur, as you say… Thanks for coming over- will be heading over to yours now!

  6. Mia 21st September, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Dear Tanya
    As I was reading that verse from Ephesians, for the first time I noticed something I never really saw before. We, as humans, are incapable to understand the depth and intensity of God’s love. We are unable to know Him or His love without Him revealing Himself to us and we need His power to comprehend something so divinely beautiful. This week I gave a lot of thought to humanism; man thinking He can be the captain of his own soul and master of his own fate. How totally absurd! Thank for your precious five- minute thoughts.

    • Tanya 21st September, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

      This is a really helpful thought, thank you. So often we prize our own rational thought above all else – but there are things that are far beyond our reach. Thanks so much for your comments, they’re always brilliant!

  7. Jolene 21st September, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Such wonderful words. And cause for reflection. In my post I wrote about how I can take comfort in the breadth of God’s love. Yet, like you I am not able to love as vastly as God can. If maybe I could try to widen my love a little each day, I wonder what that would entail or look like. Thanks for provoking my brain so early this morning!

    God Bless,

    • Tanya 21st September, 2012 at 11:24 am #

      Ah – great minds think alike! Thanks for your encouraging words.

  8. Claire 21st September, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Oh, I loved this! This width and depth of His love never fails to amaze me.

    • Tanya 21st September, 2012 at 11:24 am #

      Thank you!

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