“Give me a God-listening heart”
(1 Kings 3:9 The Message)
Finding God’s Love in Your Experience:
We need to have the right tools to find God’s love. Having learned to find that love, trust in God deepens. We begin to develop a quiet center in our hearts. Our understanding of life changes. We begin to see ourselves and other people more like God does. In a sense, God lends us his eyes through the presence of the Spirit in our hearts.
Your First Tool to Find God’s Love in Your Life:
This cycle of Meditation is designed to help you find God’s love in specific moments of your life. You may recognize God’s love immediately. You may need some days or weeks to tune into it. If you are new Meditation, go to Prepare to Meditate and when you are done return. Begin you hunt. Find God’s love.
When ready, repeat this question to yourself in your own words. Just allow your thoughts to arise, develop and go away. Just be like a visitor sitting by a stream of water. Patterns start, develop then drift away. Just be aware.
Lord, do you love me?
This is one of the basic promises of God. The answer is “Yes.” It is always “Yes.” However, we have all experienced times in which we were unloved, loved if we did what others wanted, told we were loved when we were being used and other experiences around being loved. At times of anxiety, frustration or in an attempt to force God to do our will, we may have believed that God does not care or only cares sometimes. So it is only natural to hear a variety of answer to this question. Only one represents God Promise. Hear the unambiguous “Yes” and you can find God’s love.
We Have Our Own Way of Finding God’s Presence:
Now we experience God differently. Some people are hearers. When I say listen they hear words. Some people are primarily seers. Right off the bat they will have I picture of some moment in their lives. In their mind’s eye they are apt to be with a friend or in nature.
A participant in one of the groups I lead burst into tears saying, “I have never heard God’s voice.”
I asked her, “How do you know God is near?”
“Oh,” she said, “I have this feeling, kind of warm, kind of spooky even. I get goose bumps from my neck down to my right elbow. It is like someone I don’t see has come up from behind and is near to me.” She feels rather than hears.
Still others are “seers.” They know God in the beauty of holiness.” Intellectual types sometimes are just overawed by the intricacy and complexity of life. Others know God is with them when they think about a friend then feel connected. It is in relationships that they know God is present loving them and their friend. They don’t see the friend in their mind’s eye. Nor do they hear a voice between their eyes. Still they know God wants them to make a contact, so they do. And it is good.
So please, don’t frustrate yourself over “see,” “know,” “intuit” or whatever. These words point to the variety of human experience of the divine. As Charles Stone writes in the introduction of this book, “Holy Noticing,”
“Most of us live distracted lives.”
When you know that God loves you from a moments of your own internal experience, thank God for being Present to you and make a note in a journal.
Love Is a Big Reality:
Because love encompasses so many dimensions and we cannot be aware of everything at once, so make use of the other meditation cycles: Understanding, Acceptance, Significance, Influence and Protection.