“Even though I knew everything was going to be fine, I felt panicked,” I told Fred after I explained what happened with the car. “At first I thought this was happening to me because I was being punished for something. Then later I sensed God saying very kindly, ‘Why would you expect that you should know what to do? Experience is how people learn.'”
Interesting. First I heard self-criticism and blame, then later I heard the Inner Voice of Love.
A similar thing happened when I had that conversation with my irritated friend. After I apologized, I admitted quite honestly that I couldn’t promise that I wouldn’t do it again. This fed her frustration enough for her to get something else off her chest.
Later when I replayed what was said, I realized that if I had reassured her that I would make every effort not to do it again, she would have gone no further. “But if you had,” the Inner Voice of Love said, “the other issue would not have been brought out into the open.”
It happened a third, fourth and fifth time. In response to each instance, the first voice said, “Well, you didn’t do that right. You should have done it like this.” Then the second voice came and shared a different, more loving perspective.
While I was noticing these two voices, our grandkids came for a sleepover. It was our grandson’s turn to pick the movie and he chose Home Alone.
At the end of the film, Kevin is reunited with his family. All is well until Bud, Kevin’s older brother, discovers what Kevin has done to his room.
Our grandson, having seen the movie multiple times, grinned and kept repeating, “Wait for it. Wait for it.” until we hear Bud shout, “Kevin!” At this point, our grandson laughs his head off.
Now when something goes wrong and I get down on myself, I try to remember it’s not the end of the story. God, as excited as a nine-year-old boy, whispers, “Wait for it. Wait for the Inner Voice of Love.”
You must trust the depth of God’s presence in you and live from there. This is the way to keep moving toward full incarnation.
–Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love
* * *
I was saddened to hear that Toronto filmmaker Rob Stewart died January 31 while diving in the Florida Keys. I first heard about Stewart when he was interviewed by our downstairs neighbour (at the time) Alex Smith on Radio Ecoshock. Stewart’s love for all living creatures and his understanding of the interconnectedness of the ecosystems led him into adventure, wonder and injustice. Watching Sharkwater, I was impacted by the breathtaking beauty of the ocean and the heartbreaking crimes that are being committed. Here is a beautiful and fitting tribute to this mischief-maker who spent his life saving his friends, namely, sharks, people, and this planet.