“Every work of man should have the nature of a love song.” — Eric Gill
What do you long for?
Can you tell me?
Do you know?
What is it that your heart sings for?
If we leave behind the afternoon chat —
of what shall we have for dinner
or where shall we go tomorrow.
If we forget about to do lists
and appointments and that
and listen out for what’s beyond them —
What do you long for.
There is a quickening that comes
with gathering up your life
and handing it over to devotion.
What is your gift?
What is in you that longs to be given?
I am asking because I want to know.
And because the answer is holy.
And because, underneath everything,
The something that you stand for.
Long for. Wish for. Dream of.
Your calling. Your life’s work.
Your allotted task
on these few turns around the sun.
And it’s always easier not to say it.
Always easier to put it to one side.
Always easier to say we get along just fine
and we’re all sort of muddling along
the same sort of path to somewhere.
Easier to ask “What did you think of this?”
and “Did you see that thing that somebody did?”
To live in a world of affiliation.
Of likes and dislikes.
Of preference as reference.
And it is harder.
To listen deep.
To be still enough —
To sink as a stone dropped in a well.
To be able to talk
Not of how this fits with that or what might happen if
But of something that is yours and cannot be moved.
It is this that I stand for.
It is this my world will always turn around.
And it is harder still
Not only to talk of something that is yours and cannot be moved
But to act upon it.
To wake up this morning and gild every shining moment
With the intent and loving attention of one who is devoted.
To see the washing and the car
And the road and the house
And the shopping and the table
And the things that must be done
And bring to every thing
The truth of what is yours
That your life
In every word and deed
Might sing its song of love.