I suppose it's typical for people to think that the Lord speaks to us in worldly ways, telling us to do worldly things. Preachers and religious ecstatics often report that this is what the Lord does; He tells them to do such and such or so and so. Indeed, even in the Bible we hear such stories. And we would have it that way, because our ways are the ways of the world, and we want worldly things. Our desires are never attached to love; they always come from objects of one kind or another.
But the Lord doesn't speak to us in the ways of the world, or of the ways of the world — not, if you will excuse the pun, in so many words. The Lord speaks to us in the Lord's way; and the true speech of the Lord is not only wordless— it says everything in its entirety at one time, with no words.
I can report to you that what the Lord says is of the soul and the spirit, not the world and its things. And one wordless word from the Lord is worth all of the world's things and everything they represent.
If we even once hear this silent word, we are given all things at once.
I would report to you now that the Lord says and does everything only out of love; indeed, there is nothing but His love, and everything that happens in life, no matter how bad it is, emanates directly from His love and is a direct consequence of it. His intention for us is always and forever loving; indeed, of itself life cannot ever consist of any other thing.
I'm sure this is confusing to all of us, because we don't see how bad things such as war and murder could come from the Lord; yet every eventuality and every arising comes from the Lord's love and the need to come back to it. There is a mystery inside this which I cannot explain, because it lies beyond my capabilities; but I do know that we lie within the love of the Lord at all times, and that His mercy is infinite.
The reason that it's said we should trust in the Lord is because of this boundless love and this infinite mercy. I have felt this love and mercy many times; and it exceeds all knowledge. It only comes by the word and out the word of the Lord; even though it is wordless, it comes in this way, because it is speech without speaking, and knowledge without knowing. In itself, it teaches of nothing but love and the way that love develops us, sustains us, and supports us; I, in my iniquity, am deeply unaware of this, and unable to sense it except through grace. I think that worldly things matter, because I don't have this perspective unless grace helps me.
One cannot truly hear the Lord with the mind, because the mind is a weak thing. There is a capacity of being and of the soul that can hear differently: such that the mind knows it does not know, the body knows it does not sense, and the emotions know they do not feel; and in this un-knowing, un-sensing, and un-feeling — a complete unknown in which there is no "I" — there God is born, and we are his children.
Perhaps readers don't understand this. That's a good thing; because what I speak of lies beyond understanding. Anything that we think we understand cannot really help us in life. Once we know we understand nothing – once we are certain within the very core of our souls that we are unworthy and without understanding— then, perhaps, in a single moment anywhere, at any time, the Lord will come.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.