The Mills of God: thoughts on love

by Gary

This week in our church family’s worship time, Allen chose ‘Love’ as the focus of his sermon. It was a good time of him quoting thoughts on love ranging from Jesus to the Beatles and from Tom T. Hall to John Oxenham. It was great!


“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

     ~ Jesus, as quoted in the Gospel of John 13: 34, 35, The Message

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known.
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.
It’s easy.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

     ~ the Beatles, lyrics from All You Need Is Love

I love little rubber ducks,
Old pick-up trucks,
Slow-moving trains,
And rain.
I love, little country streams,
Sleep without dreams,
Sunday school in may,
and hay.
And I love you too.

          ~ Tom T. Hall, lyrics from I Love


I assume you know Jesus, the Beatles and Tom T. Hall. But who is this John Oxenham, you ask. Oxenham is actually the pen name of a man worth knowing something about: William Dunkerly.Click on his name to learn more about him on Wikipedia as a starter. (as usual, I’ll encourage you to look on to other sources aside from Wikipedia, but it is often a convenient place to start) Oxenham was a writer of prose and poetry. He wrote books. He wrote for magazines. He wrote wonderful verse and even hymns.



In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North;
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

          ~from the hymn In Christ There Is No East or West


 The Mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small–
So soft and slow the great wheels go they scarcely move at all;
But the souls of men fall into them and are powdered into dust,
And in that dust grow the Passion-Flowers–Love, Hope, Trust.

          ~from the book Bees in the Amber


Love ever gives.
Forgives, outlives,
And ever stands
With open hands.
And while it lives,
It gives,
For this is love’s prerogative —
To give, and give, and give.

          ~from the poem Love Ever Gives 



John Oxenham, circa 1910

Since Allen quoted him, I was interested in Oxenham’s other works. His thoughts on God’s Mills grinding us into fertile powder are powerful and caused me to consider how I’m being a fertile powder in my normal days. I can quote all my favorite sages on love but I often don’t live out the truths that I read although, increasingly, I want to.

So in the spirit of challenging you to love others this week, I’ve shared these quotes. Now I need to live up to their challenges. But how about you? What is your favorite quote about love? And I’d prefer not the sappy kind of love quote though I realize that ‘sappy’ is in the eye of the beholder. I’d prefer deeper quotes on sacrificial, serving love. Whatever the quote may be, I hope you’ll take a minute to post it here whether it’s prose or poetry, secular or sacred. Inspire us. Share the love!



Filed under New Thoughts

3 responses to “The Mills of God: thoughts on love

  1. May not be exactly what you are looking for, but this is one of my favorites:

    “But tell me how it is that she could be so beautiful without any heart at all—without any place even for a heart to live in.”

    “..the chief thing that makes her beautiful is this: that, although she loves no man, she loves the love of any man; and when she finds one in her power, her desire to bewitch him and gain his love (not for the sake of his love either, but that she may be conscious anew of her own beauty, through the admiration he manifests), makes her very lovely—with a self-destructive beauty, though; for it is that which is constantly wearing her away within, till, at last, the decay will reach her face, and her whole front, when all the lovely mask of nothing will fall to pieces, and she be vanished for ever.”
    -George MacDonald (Phantastes)

  2. George MacDonald said/wrote many good things. I hadn’t read this quote before but it’s very telling and insightful.

    Thanks for posting, Ben!

  3. Jonathan

    “Love chooses to be a servant – not for the sake of servanthood, but for the sake of the beloved.”

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