Thursday, August 2, 2007
listening for what feels like nothing
so yesterday i go visit a man in the hospital, a friend of a journeyer. i didn't know this man, but the journeyer asked me to go see him, so i was happy to. turns out he had a big honkin' car accident a few weeks ago. snapped his pelvis. broke a bunch of ribs and his left forearm. had to have all that screwed back together, etc.
they didn't know if he was going to make it, but he did. he's going home and starts physical therapy next week. he's a lucky man. blessed. whatever, based on your view of the universe.
as he's telling me how he's doing, i can tell this has been a big wake-up call for him. that's good. he says he's an executive who works 80-90 hours a week, and he's busy, and at the center of a lot of activity. he has a lot to do.
he also says that this accident has made him start thinking about things. what his life means. what he's supposed to do next. i guess he's 50ish. i'm thinking this is a good time for him to think about what he wants. what he longs for. what he doesn't need anymore.
he's thinking the same thing.
he tells me he wants to do something for god. he doesn't know what that will be. but he's hungry for it.
my guess is, his soul has been hungry a while. he seems like a good man. seems kind. genuine. and the look in his eyes doesn't just look kind or nice - he's searching. he wants to know something. he can't put his finger on it.
i say, All you have to do is listen.
i realize that i have just suggested that he try to do one of the hardest things a businessperson in america can attempt. it probably feels like being told to flap your arms and fly to the moon.
he says he tries to listen, and sometimes it feels like there's just a wall there. no god. even though he believes deeply and wants to hear god speak. i tell him he's definitely not the only person to experience this.
he says he's hungry. he's trying to read his bible, pray; it's quiet late at night on his floor in the hospital and he's had a lot of time to think. i tell him thinking is probably the problem. he might try journaling, and not thinking, just writing. and when a genuinely not-the-monkey-in-his-head thought comes, that's god.
he asks how my wife and i knew to start journey with all these amazing people. how'd you know god was talking? he says. i say that we just got as quiet as we could, over and over and over, and asked other people to pray, and god sent us all kinds of messages. lots of them. weird, strange ones ... beautiful, simple ones ... i say that that's the only way i know how to do this.
i also tell him, he can do this. it'll just take practice. a few small steps at first. it'll be a surprise.