Listening is a rare happening among human beings. You cannot listen to the word another is speaking if you are preoccupied with your appearance or impressing the other, or if you are trying to decide what you are going to say when the other stops talking, or if you are debating about whether the word being spoken is true or relevant or agreeable. Such matters may have their place, but only after listening to the word as the word is being uttered. Listening, in other words, is a primitive act of love, in which a person gives self to another’s word, making self accessible and vulnerable to that word.
I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is inprobably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary?
One thing I love about God is no one, no demon, no angel and no human being can ever convince Him of anything concerning me. Even I cannot convince Him of how bad I am. No one can. I can’t convince Him of how good I am. No one can. He does not change His opinion of me by my words or the words that men speak about me. Even the best of men can be swayed, but He can’t. This gives me both confidence and comfort knowing that He knows the extreme of my depravity, which I cannot exaggerate, yet He still sees the heights of sincerity and virtue in me. Only with God do the two extremes coexist in the process of maturing. Only God truly knows us.