The First Duty of Love is to Listen!
by Stan Faryna
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God speaks to us. Me. You. Everyone. Often. God does not forget us. And God listens to us.
Often, God speaks to us through the world, through events… people. It could even be a song. The right song playing on the radio. At the right moment. The song that puts the world back together for us. The song that lifts our heart out of darkness. Out of pain.
When… God speaks, we are moved deeply. In us. For others. In joy or compassion. Or even in an expansive feeling for the world, the universe, and life itself.
When God speaks to us, God often speaks with the soft-spoken intimations of love. But loud if need be. According to divine purpose. And careful of our will – that it be free.
It could be footprints in the snow – the barefoot footprints of Carmelite friars. And seeing those footprints, a question was written upon the heart of a teen-age boy.
If others can make such sacrifices for God, can’t I offer him something?
But if we don’t hear God, it is because we do not care to listen… for a God who speaks to us.
Because – most of all and most of the time, we don’t want to hear from God. We don’t want to hear what God is saying – even if our life and happiness depends upon it. We have our own ideas, expectations, and plans about ourselves, our life, and what we’re doing.
In fact, we do hear God- regardless of whether or not you believe in God. In fact, we do not acknowledge God – even when we like what God is saying to us. Or need God.
When we like what w’re hearing, we say that our heart has spoken, that serendipity or synchronicity has happened. That the universe has nodded to us.
In Facebook jargon, you’ve been poked. Most of the time, our first instinct is not to poke back.
We take God for granted – just as we take our loved ones for granted.
And yet, we cannot ignore a God that speaks to us. Though we will pretend God to be a stranger – silent and serene. As if God did not exist. Was not real. Could not speak to us.
Because our hearts yearn for a great love. It is a love so great that no man or woman could ever give us – though we will ask it from them. Even demand it. And we will be unsatisfied. Ever searching for that soulmate who can give us what – even a soulmate cannot give.
Because our yearning for God may come as a great restlessness that does not allow us to enjoy peace, quiet, or gentleness. Because in peace, quiet, and gentleness, we feel our self-imposed emptiness.
Because our yearning for God may come to us in our anger, mistrust, and cynicism for the world. For people.
This yearning may come to us in our stubborn self-deceit. And, the harm we do to ourselves and those we love. Or in our readiness to deceive or harm others.
We are mean. Sometimes. Because we have become desperate for that which we cannot have. Because, in truth, we have denied it to ourselves. In our pride. In our ignorance.
But we all know this to be true: everyone wants love, forever and always. Yes, we want it our own terms. But the terms of love, any kind of good love, right now or forever – the terms are simple and non-negotiable.
You must be true. You must serve. You must give.
This is to love.
And the first duty of love? The first duty of love is to Listen.
And, yes, God is speaking to you. He speaks to you – even right now.
Are you listening?
Are you listening?
21 July 2011
Special Thanks to Adrian Klein for producing this podcast. Adrian, you do amazing things!
Faryna Podcasts recently produced by Adrian Klein:
1. Why do I blog: Faryna Podcast EP1
4. Are you ready for love?