I just watched a movie about the writing of a Christian hymn. Intended probably more for children, it tells the story of a moment in the life of Frederick M. Lehman, a pastor who had emigrated to the United States from Germany as a child, settling in Iowa, where he lived most of his childhood. The movie doesn’t mention it because this wasn’t the period in his life that the movie was about, but he came to Christ at the age of eleven. He studied for the ministry and pastored in Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri. Although he was later to publish hundreds of songs, compiling five songbooks, and became a founder of the Nazarene Publishing House, his first song was the one that the movie was about. He was having trouble with the third verse. The song was about the love of God, and he was having trouble expressing the love of God in words. At this point in his life, World War I had begun and one of his sons was overseas. The church where he was preaching was low on funds as so many of the men were in the military and everything was going into the war effort, so they were unable to pay him enough to support his family. His children decided to help him write the third verse of the song, hoping that he would be able to sell it and keep from having to go to the poor house. They find a poem on a card that was about the love of God and set out to see if they can find the author and get permission for his father to adapt the words to his song. Skipping a lot of the peripheral stuff, they learn that the words for the poem on the card had been found scratched on the wall of a room at an insane asylum. After more investigation, they find that the words had not been written by the person who had scratched them on the wall, but they had been written by a Jewish rabbi in Germany a long while ago, and that the poem was the English translation. Showing it to their father, he adapts the words to complete the third verse of his song. Movie: Indescribable The Love of God by Frederick M. Lehman (1917) and Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai (1050) The love of God is greater far Than tongue or pen can ever tell; It goes beyond the highest star, And reaches to the lowest hell; The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win; His erring child He reconciled, And pardoned from his sin. Refrain: Oh, love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure— The saints’ and angels’ song. When hoary time shall pass away, And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall, When men who here refuse to pray, On rocks and hills and mountains call, God’s love so sure, shall still endure, All measureless and strong; Redeeming grace to Adam’s race— The saints’ and angels’ song. Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky.