This story came by way of Rev. Nancy Allen who shared it at an Academy for Spiritual Formation in February 2017. If this story does not originate with her I am unsure of the source.
There was a grandfather and grandson walking down the busy street in the city. Cars moving, trucks unloading cargo, people chatting in the cafe patios that ran along the sidewalk but the two walked hand in hand through the city streets with ease. Suddenly the grandfather stopped and said, "Do you hear that?!"
Quickly the grandfather escorted his grandson to a flower box at the end of one of the cafe patios. Pulling back the flowers and the ivy, the grandfather exposed a nest where six baby birds where chirping.
Amazed that his grandfather could hear such small birds over the noise of the city asked, "How did you hear those tiny birds?!"
The old man reached into his pocket and pulled out a half dozen coins and threw them onto the ground where they pinged and rolled into the street.
As the coins rolled into the street the young man noticed that everyone in the street cafe enjoying their coffee and conversation stopped, turned their heads and looked at the coins.
The grandfather said, "It is all in what you are listening for."
The more we hear what we want to hear, the more deaf we become.
The more we see what we want to see, the more blind we will be.
The more we love what we want to love, the more we love ourselves.