O come, Mighty Ocean

I’ve been working on some other projects this past week. Getting some things I’ve been putting off finished, helping some people who come to one of the craft groups with their patchwork and quilting, and finally today, I had time to do a little bit more of one of the ‘special’ quilts.

These special quilts are ones that I work on between quilts of hope. The one I’ve been working on today is based on the Hymn O boundless salvation.

It’s based on my dad’s favourite hymn, written by William Booth.

O boundless salvation! deep ocean of love,
O fulness of mercy, Christ brought from above,
The whole world redeeming, so rich and so free,
Now flowing for all men, come, roll over me!

My sins they are many, their stains are so deep,
And bitter the tears of remorse that I weep;
But useless is weeping; thou great crimson sea,
Thy waters can cleanse me, come, roll over me!

My tempers are fitful, my passions are strong,
They bind my poor soul and they force me to wrong;
Beneath thy blest billows deliverance I see,
O come, mighty ocean, and roll over me!

Now tossed with temptation, then haunted with fears,
My life has been joyless and useless for years;
I feel something better most surely would be
If once thy pure waters would roll over me.

O ocean of mercy, oft longing I’ve stood
On the brink of thy wonderful, life-giving flood!
Once more I have reached this soul-cleansing sea,
I will not go back till it rolls over me.

The tide is now flowing, I’m touching the wave,
I hear the loud call of the mighty to save;
My faith’s growing bolder, delivered I’ll be;
I plunge ‘neath the waters, they roll over me.

And now, hallelujah! the rest of my days
Shall gladly be spent in promoting his praise
Who opened his bosom to pour out this sea
Of boundless salvation for you and for me.

Yep, I’m embroidering the whole seven verses onto the quilt, which is why, when someone asked today when this quilt will be finished I looked at them and said, “Not this year!”

One thing I notice when I embroider a square is how meditative the words are. For the whole hour of sewing a small phrase your mind is enveloped in the words, you meditate on the truths your embroidering and they become a part of your soul.

So after months of picking up this quilt and concentrating on the words of Boundless Salvation you start to really see the power of the words. Originally I was going to use the words and maybe some ocean creatures, but as I embroider I’m getting pictures of people being rescued from the ocean, people being baptised by the water, small drops and oceans full of water, Jesus reaching into the deep to pull out a drowning soul.

So I tried to draw one of the images.

Then I tried out my new free motion sewing foot and had a go at putting the image onto fabric…

The next step is to paint the fabric and try to get the sense of water flowing and rain pouring. And so the quilt is developed further and when someone asks when it’ll be finished I might be saying, “Not next year!”

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