How Are We Listening?

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”

My morning started at the river where the mist rising from the water met my prayers with hope. The birds declared melodies welcoming the day; sounds of reckless joy my voice can never muster. I am grateful how nature praises God and I am allowed the gift of participating. There is a chorus moving through the woods; a dance flowing in the water. I needed to begin here.

I wonder if I am heeding this teaching of Jesus to “consider carefully how you listen”? When I listen to the birds sing the morning praise it never occurs to me to assess their pitch or tone. I marvel at their persistence. I’m intrigued with the joy they bring in welcoming the day. I turn my attention to the music and let the song come close to me. And listen. Just listen. I laugh at how easily they all sing at once; if a director is present my untrained ear cannot discern it. I am grateful.

Is it possible we could listen to our brothers and sisters with this same grace? I wonder… If we employed such a natural curiosity as I find this morning while listening to nature, what would we hear? Anticipation not as prediction, but rather a simple wondering for what is being offered. Is there something I need to hear today?

God, you created us with ears to hear, minds to comprehend, and spirits to discern. We must often miss the very special thing we are in need of hearing. Please open our ears to what you are speaking in so many people and places right now. Tune our ears to the sound of your voice. Drown out the noise that begs for our attention and turn us carefully, humbly to you. We welcome and yearn for your divine voice to speak into this day. Help us to hear. Amen.

Early morning at the Harpeth River. May 2022

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