Committing to Listening
I have been sitting here for over an hour, trying to hear what I should say to our church on this Tuesday morning. It is so hard for me to find “the thing” to say because there is so very much that wants to be said.And yet, it is even more important in these days that humans commit ourselves to listen, to try to hear, to suspend judgment in search of understanding.To hear the voices of our neighbors, and of strangers, and of our children—and to offer one of the most sacrificial gifts of love: to listen, while trying to hear and understand.The words of a song come to my mind: “Word of God speak, won’t you pour down like rain...”. I want to center my listening by listening first to God’s Word. Within the first chapter of Genesis, I hear “So God created humankind in God’s image, in the image of God they were created; male and female God created them. God blessed them.... God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:27, 31) And among the closing pages of our Scripture, I hear from the Revelation to John: “See, the home of God is among humankind. God will dwell with them; they will be God’s people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away. And the One who is seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new. Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” (Rev. 21:3-5) Between God’s Dream at the beginning, and God’s Promise at the fulfillment, there is work to do. For Christians, our daily call from Christ is to “Love one another as I have loved you.” I really believe that my work of love at this moment, is to try to listen. And hear. And to ask God to help me try to love as Christ loves, here between the Creation and the Fulfillment of God’s dream.Then, to speak as Spirit and conscience dictates. “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak” (Acts 2:4). I invite you to join in listening, then speaking, to one another in love.