I am just beginning a novel by Peter Kreeft: An ocean Full of Angels. One section I read today reminded me of a concept I have blogged about before: the idea that everything created is a revelation of God, if we can but look for it. The narrator of the book is describing a small island he lives on off the coast of Boston:
Tiny Nahant is a complete world that can teach you everything you need to know, everything the whole planet can teach. The rocks teach you fidelity. The waves teach you the relentless, unceasing heartbeat of love. The winds teach you the power of the invisible. The high cliffs teach you to hope. The caves teach you that all things have a dark and buried side. The grass teaches you humility. The sun teaches you glory. The sand teaches you time. The trees teach you to think tall. The ants and bees teach you industry. The flowers teach you the morality of superfluity, the wild adventure of hospitality, and the beauty of prodigality. The seasons teach you that change and stability are two sides of the same reality. The night teaches you mystery and the day teaches you mindfulness. The tiny town teaches you modesty. And the surrounding sea teaches you that you are rocked at every moment int he arms of a giant angel.
But you learn all these things here only because you learn the precious Lesson One that my Mama used to call “hushing”: the wisdom of slowing down, getting all quiet inside, and entering the holy silence, where you can listen. I believe this is the single most potent of all learning arts. Most follies, of both thought and deed, cannot endure that place, that holy silence. Addictions, aggressions, and aggravations fall out of your soul like birds with broken wings, when the air is fresh with silence. . . .
It means nothing mystical or esoteric. Just listen. Don’t listen for anything, just listen. You must learn to listen, for listening is life’s second greatest art. Only loving is greater. But listening well is the best aid to loving well.
May you find the time, however small, to listen, to listen to God in all that you encounter today.
Hope to see you at Witnesses to Hope tonight!