Listening

How Would I Know?

Blog_TrampledRose

how would i know
what you were thinking
if i never stopped to ask?

how would I know
that you were hoping
today would be your last?

how would i have seen
the darkness in your life
if i didn’t try to look
more deeply in your eyes?

and how would i have heard
the cry behind your smile
if i didn’t choose to wait
and listen for awhile?

yet now i feel your pain
and now i share your tears
i hold the heavy weight
of the burden that you bear

i’ve tasted of your sorrows
i’ve walked inside your shoes
i’ve finally had a glimpse
of what it’s like to be you

all you needed was some comfort–
to know you’re not alone
if i never stopped to listen
how would i have known?

Source: More than a Neighbor

Photo Credit: Rejected Rose | by Kurayba Rejected Rose | by Kurayba

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Unplugged

More info about the Wellington Musicircus at http://musicircus.net.nz/Sometimes I feel invisible. I call my children multiple times with no response unless it involves cookies or ice cream. One time I asked my son why he wasn’t listening, and he told me, “Wait a minute Mommy. I can’t hear you. Let me get these fruit snacks out of my ears.”

Having children has made me more aware of how selective our hearing can be. Kids tend to hear what they want to hear, when they want to hear it. They tune in to those things that most interest them while lowering the volume on what they don’t want to hear.

It can be like that in our relationship with God. In a previous blog post I talked about what I termed “misunderhearing”. But sometimes we take it a step further and just don’t listen at all.

Maybe our ears are plugged up with fruit snacks, just like my son’s. We jam our ears with feel-good sweet-talk rather than the nourishing truth of God’s word. The media so consumes our senses that we can’t hear what our loving Creator really wants to say to us.

The Bible says, “A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear.” How true of our day and age. We live for social media likes and follows, wanting to hear what people have to say about us while completely unconcerned with what God has to say.

As a wise man so aptly stated, “You can believe in whatsoever you like, but the truth remains the truth, no matter how sweet the lie may taste” (M.B. Johnson). Do we realize what we’re missing while our ears remain plugged up with lies? Our joy is diminished, our senses dulled, when we neglect the life-giving word of God in favor of saccharine junk food.

 

Photo Credit: Ear plugs | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

Slow Down and Listen

Blog_SittingByOcean

God, slow us down. Help us to listen to your still small voice, to hear what you are saying above the clamor of this world. Show yourself for who you truly are, not for what we’ve tried to make you to be. And as we rightly hear you, bring healing to our relationships with you and with others, as only you can.

 

Source: Misunderhearing

Photo Credit: Sunrise, People – Free images on Pixabay

Learning to Listen

Blog_Soundwaves

The other day, one of my four-year old students decided to step in and help mediate a conflict in which one kid accused another of name-calling. “That’s not what happened!” she said. “They just misunderheard each other.” Her vocabulary may not have been accurate, but I realize how right she is.

How many misunderstandings are really a result of “misunderhearing”? We half-listen, not hearing what the other person is trying to say because we’re already formulating what we want to say in response. Or we misinterpret what was said altogether, sifting their words through our own preconceived notions.

My old landlord always used to say, “the root of all conflict is uncommunicated and unmet expectations.” How much relational conflict would be avoided if we took to heart the Bible verse exhorting us to be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry?” If we just slowed down enough to hear and to respond appropriately, what needless pain would we avoid?

This applies within our human relationships, and also in our relationship with God. How many times do we misunderhear his word? We take a verse out of context, twist it as we desire then wonder why it’s not working like some magic spell over our lives. Bitterness sets in as we mistakenly believe God didn’t make good on his promise, when all along we weren’t rightly hearing what he had to say.

And how extreme has our world’s caricaturized vision of God become as it listens to lies and half-truths perpetuated by media propaganda and hypocritical churchgoers, never bothering to search his word for the truth of who he is. If only we would listen. If only we would hear. How much more would we know God for who he truly is, and not what our idolatrous hands have made him to be?

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-10)

God, slow us down. Help us to listen to your still small voice, to hear what you are saying above the clamor of this world. Show yourself for who you truly are, not for what we’ve tried to make you to be. And as we rightly hear you, bring healing to our relationships with you and with others, as only you can. In Jesus’ name.

Photo Credit: Sound Waves Free Stock Photo – Public Domain Pictures