I find that if a phrase seems beautiful and poetic, it is usually not considered so because of a well-placed inflection, a mere complex wording or surprising diction, but because it strikes a truth that our hearts know, but our minds are not aware of. After all, if we are made in the image and likeness of God then we have hearts shaped with divine truths, and souls molded with the answers to questions the brain asks.
Thus it is with the phrase “unimaginable love.” We use this term to describe God’s love for us, but – until a conversation with a good friend – I don’t believe I thought more of it than a pretty phrase. What does it actually mean, that God’s love is unimaginable? It means that God’s love really exists.
For something cannot be both entirely created by the human mind and entirely beyond the understanding of the human mind. Man cannot create and build a car, then step back and say that no man could understand such a device. If we feel God’s love, and God’s love feels unimaginable, then we absolutely cannot be making it up, we absolutely cannot be inducing feelings that don’t belong, for the imagination has great power, but it cannot imagine the unimaginable.
But, though I know without a shadow of doubt what it is to be loved incomprehensibly, I would even move beyond “feeling” unimaginable love, for feelings are fickle. The very concept of the unimaginable, the fact that we know that we cannot know, this too means that God’s love exists. For how could a finite being speak of infinity, how could a imaginative mind hold the unimaginable, unless it was given? These phrases – along everlasting, eternal, almighty – certainly don’t come from human experience, but have always been a part of humanity’s vocabulary, which seems to leave the conclusion that there is more to humanity than the finite, more than the animal. The very words we speak betray a God, and a love so great that it’s…well, who knows?