11 05 2014

It’s been weeks since I’ve blogged. 

But sometimes, I’ve got nothing to say. 

Sometimes I just want to be quiet, and listen, and take in all that is going around me. 

In a world that loves to speak – full of bloggers, and texters, and tweeters like me, who always think we have something important and vital to say – practicing the art of listening can be a challenge.  Because speaking comes so naturally to one as vociferous as I, this is important.  I need to be still enough to listen to the whispers of children talking about their Easter Baskets, as they gather for the chapel service I’m about to lead at their pre-school.  I need to consciously work at quieting the voices of my world so I can listen to the Ethiopian women behind the counter at Starbucks chatting about their families.  I need to work hard at quieting all the voices in my head so I can listen to the frustrated conversation of man on the phone, in the bed next to gentleman I’m visiting with in the hospital.

I need to listen so I can hear all that is going on in the world around me.  If I want the word I speak to mean something, then I need to remember that communication always begins with listening . . . so I can hear the joy in the hearts of little ones experiencing the simple joy of bunnies, and chocolate eggs, and new life – so I can hear oneness I have with anyone trying to raise a child in this world, regardless of nationality, race, or gender – so I can hear the pain of one who has grown up to fast, aged too quickly, and who now just wants to die.

If I don’t learn to listen, I will never hear about all the joy, and struggle, and frustration in peoples’ lives, and thus never really be able to speak into their world.  I may have plenty to say, but it will it be relevant?  Will it offer any hope?  Will it bring any sort of comfort?  Will it ever offer any sort of wisdom?

Sometimes I think that every thought that enters my heads needs to pass through my lips.  Sometimes I think that if I fail to speak the prophetic word that I think I’ve been given (and I think I’ve been given a lot of prophetic words!) I’m not being faithful.  Sometimes I think if everyone just heard my logic, my rational, my wisdom – if they just heard all I had to say, the world would just be a better place.

But if I don’t learn to listen to others, why would they listen to me?  Listening to them is a way to show how important they are to me; it’s a way to show that I value them and that I am interested in their perspective.  Listening is a way of learning; hearing another perspective, and discovering an alternate way of seeing the world.  And listening is a way of spiritually saying, “God I know you’re working and moving in my life, so I’m going to stop and pay attention.”

Yes, it’s ok to sometimes have nothing to say.  For its only when I learn to listen, that I can hear the world around me.  And only when I hear the world around me, can I ever hope to say anything that really matters. 



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