The Little Voice Says

By: Brian Robertson

ST. FrancisSometimes it happens that a certain song gets stuck in your head and refuses to vacate. The same thing happens to me with quotes and thoughts, and usually the thoughts that keep popping into view are ones that I have learned that I’d better pay attention to.

In particular these days, I’ve suddenly found that I’m the target of compliments. This is, I suppose, to counterbalance those times when a kind word is like water in the desert — not very likely to materialize. Considering the recent quote from 1 Peter that I mentioned, the often “Biblical” concept of being humble is a lesson that seems to be raising its hand for recognition these days.

So, this morning as I was outside in the perfectly morning sky with the pleasantly brisk wind, a voice came up from somewhere deep inside, not hesitant and offering up something after a quietly cleared throat, but simply stated and able to drill through much of the layers of bs that I know I can insulate my self with. They were the words of St. Francis, or, at least, words I’ve come to associate with St. Francis. I mention them today because they have been on my mind and in some ways it’s as if God is lightly tapping me on the shoulder and saying, “Ahem…..”

When faced with a compliment, I recall hearing somewhere that St. Francis used to reply, “As I am in the eyes of God, that is — and no more.”

Someone, and I think it was Alan Watts, once told me that there are things we know. We are familiar with them, we are used to them, we are apt to just touch on those things, go, “Sure, that’s right” and move on into the abyss of our daily grind. Now and then, he said, there are things we Know. Those are the big moments if we but listen — moments where know becomes Know with a capital K. It’s an insight, if you will, an interface of one’s tired, distracted self with something trying to tell you something — call it life or God or what have you.

So, that simple thought poked at me — “As I am in the eyes of God, that is how I am, and really nothing else matters or is a reliable yardstick of who I am and how I am in this life.” That’s the non-St. Francis expanded nonpoetic version. But before brushing it aside, think a moment. How would it be if we lived from that point of view, not just in terms of accept in a perhaps rare compliment, but, instead, if the quote stood between us and the world, however briefly, when we are angered? Slandered? Embarrassed? Damning? Damned by our own thoughts? Lost?

If who we were to the world and how we treated others could be run through that simple filter, what would that accomplish?

There. Now, maybe, it’s in your head now. Feel free to pass it on!





[I think that it changes everything. I have begun ever so slowly living in that thought and it changes the most mundane of things. The latest thing I am learning is that it is okay to trust myself more than I have in the past – that God uses me and my body to talk to me.

I think it is safe to love yourself, Brian, because that’s what God does. We are told in hundreds of different ways that we are fractured and shattered, crap and no good. I wonder if it’s not someone else rather than God telling us those things]