I Talked to God in the Forest That Day
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Two years have passed since I left home after breaking up with my girlfriend. Two years soaked in heartache, emotional pain and mental torment: a devastating pain I never imagined a human heart can bear, and hope another heart will never feel. One day I was hiking alone through the forest in New Zealand – another of the hundreds of walks I took in solitude, talking to myself and trying to find a bit of rest from the pain.
Forests in New Zealand are incredibly beautiful. Before you step on the path, you spray and brush your shoes to keep out any possible diseases you might have carried on your boots from outside without knowing. After a few steps on the track, you blink and open your eyes to a magical forest: silver ferns unroll their naked tentacles bowing to the rain, trees covered in green moss swing through the fog on a gentle song only they can hear, and kauri trees – thousands of years old – stand still and tickle the clouds above with their branches. Rainbow-colored birds fly across through the mist and paint the forest with their chirps, tweets and trills.
I walked deeper into the woods, mumbling to myself and thinking of the past. The sun pierced through the clouds and mingled with the leaves to create waving puddles of golden light in front of me on the path. I looked around the see if I was alone and spoke out loud. Thoughts and words and tears tumbled out from my mouth:
“God, You know my heart. I have made terrible mistakes, and I’ve hurt this girl although I didn’t mean to. I lied and I cheated. You know my heart, and you know I am telling You the truth. She is the only woman I have ever loved without any conditions. I’ve never asked anything from her, and I would have given her my all. Nothing she said or did ever upset me, bothered me, angered me. In the six years we’ve been together, I have seen only her light and her innocence. She was holy to me. Never was there any spot of darkness in my mind about her, never any judgment, and never any unloving thought. How is it possible? I would have given my life for her in gladness. That’s how much I loved her. I’ve been in pain for so long, God. I don’t let my friends see it, but you know my heart and you know it’s true. How can you love someone so much?”
“So you can understand how much I love you.”
“What?” I stopped on the path. The instant I’d asked the question, the breeze stopped for a moment and the forest stood still. The birds remained quiet, as in a silent prayer. I raised my eyes from the ground and looked through the canopy at the blue sky above. “What?” I asked again. Then silence. It was the only answer I had received. A profound voice in my mind, a voice different than my usual mental noise had spoken just once: “So you can understand how much I love you.”
I had asked only one question: “How can you love someone so much?” and I had received only one answer.
We all have people in our lives, relationships in which we love fully and without conditions: a baby, a loved one, a friend, a parent. We give everything with a joy that transcends logic.
It matters not what the other person is doing or saying to us, it matters not if the other person even knows of our love for them. We just show up every day, pulled by a love from beyond this world and give them everything. Even our lives if necessary (ask any parent). Our relationships with each other in this world are hazy mirrors of our relationship with God. And once in our life, we are given the blessing of someone who wipes the mirror clean, so we can see clearly our relationship to God. When we give all to another in a love without conditions, we get to understand how much God loves us.
DR. DRAGOS – Internationally renowned scientist and filmmaker, director of the award winning documentary film, THE AMAZING YOU, featuring NASA legends, Rock stars, New York Times bestselling authors and the Angry Birds. Dragos spoke at conferences on five continents and his work has been translated in sixteen languages. Check out his new book: Sleepers. You can follow him on FB.
Image courtesy of Snufkin.