The Gift of Listening

I find it queer that all this time that I’ve been learning to listen, I have really been learning to speak.

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What better way, really?  Perhaps if one knows how they wish people would listen to their voice, then they could listen in that same way to others.

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Discernment is a major aspect of both listening and speaking.  When we learn to listen with our spirits, our hearts, our intuition–whatever we want to call it, we begin to hear things that people are not saying.

Rather than audibly hearing ‘I’m fine, today,’ we hear what the Lord hears: the mournful chimes of a broken heart; the despairing melodies of festered and lost hopes; the valid and very human longing of their skin for touch, for a hug, for some tangible reminder that everything will be alright.

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But maybe we’re too scared to listen because we are too scared to love.  Maybe we are too scared to love because to love means to speak.

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It means we have to speak with hugs and hands, a simple note or God forbid, a phone call.  It means we have to love with mercy and patience–two things we falsely believe that we tragically lack.  It means that we have to speak by actively trusting and believing in outcomes and a loving God we think that we cannot see.

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And when we find occasion to speak, it means we have to courageously endure not being heard.  By a generation who pacifies their souls with anything but grace.

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