Love Dogs (by Rumi)
One night a man was crying,
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said,
“So! I have heard you
calling out, but have you ever
gotten any response?”
The man had no answer for that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage,
“Why did you stop praising?”
“Because I’ve never heard anything back.”
“This longing you express
is the return message.”
The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness that wants help
is the secret cup.
Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love dogs no one knows the names of.
Give your life to be one of them.
Could it be that the longing itself is the connection?
I’ve found myself waking up in the middle of the night longing for God. I’ve said phrases and prayers to try to soothe my soul, convince myself of something, soothe the ache or remedy the longing. But could it be that the longing I have for God is a sign of God within me? God longing within me and sighing for himself? This reframe helps me to find the ease in the desiring and the longing and to let it be a sign to me of God’s living presence within me. I’ve heard it said, I think by Thomas Merton, that “The desire to please God, pleases God.” So perhaps the longing for God itself is a sign of the loving presence of God already within. My own longing I feel and express is the connection and the return message. Simply, the longing is the loving.
Psalm 63 to me seems to echo this theme.