When Becky asked me a week or so ago if I would be a guest blogger for her while she was at the beach, my immediate response was “I can’t do that I have nothing to say”! But on my way to work in the quietness of my car, the anxiety wore off and I started to believe that maybe I could write something. Anyone who knows Becky can attest to her positive attitude that seems to always challenge us, but also makes us believe we can do anything.
It was that quiet time in my car that allowed me to “listen” to God. I turned the volume down in my head enough to hear God and then speak to him knowing that he was listening to me. God calls us to love our brothers and sisters, what better way to truly love someone other than to listen. By listening we let that person know they are important to us, that they are “somebody”. I have learned the art of listening a lot over the past year.
My life has been turned around and challenged in so many ways since January 2009. However, God put some wonderful new friends in front of me like Becky and Chris who listened to what was going on in my life at the time. Good listeners don’t pass judgments, they don’t try to turn the conversation around and make it about them, and they don’t try to talk over you, they listen. For 43 of my 44 yrs I can say they I was not a good listener. I would talk over the person; have other thoughts going on in my head, watch television out of the corner of my eye but certainly not actively listening. What a great feeling to know that someone is listening to what YOU have to say. Think about how good you feel when you know that someone is hanging on every word being spoken.
I have been blessed over the past 17 months with a new job, great volunteer opportunities, wonderful friends and a beautiful family. The common thread among all of these gifts to me is that I have the opportunity to listen. I have the opportunity everyday to speak to a client, a friend, a family member and listen to their story. Giving someone time to tell there story, express their frustration, or celebrate good news allows that person to feel that they are loved and what better way to follow God than to love all of our brothers and sisters.
Who can you listen to today to share God’s love?