Monday, October 02, 2006

If We Could Listen



"...Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry." ... James 1:19

These latest horrible school shootings have me grieving... and they have me thinking.

If only we could listen more... to God--what He is really saying... to others--what they are trying to say, sometimes even without words...

...maybe not as many people in our own towns would be wound so tight, ready to snap...

... maybe we would be kinder --and maybe that kindness would ease some pain and bring some slack in the tightening rope some people feel around their heads all the time...

...and maybe that kindness would cause good ripples, instead of the bad ones brought through anger and pain...

... maybe we'd more often be in the right place at the right time, ready with the perfect words of comfort and understanding...and perhaps snatch away a seed of a future tragedy...

When these types of tragic things happen, the temptation is to feel helpless.

Well, I do not believe that temptation comes from God, but rather the opposite comes from Him... He hands us, instead, an invitation to listen more closely--to Him, to others-- so that, probably even without our realizing, He may just be able to stop a future tragedy through us...

...because we kept our sour, different-is-bad, judgmental opinions to ourselves... because we, instead, listened before a heart exploded...

...because we listened with compassion and could hear even the unspoken words...

...because we helped carry loads one person was never meant to carry alone...

... because we said no to distractions and yes to freely giving... just as we have freely received.

Maybe... just maybe... we could make a huge difference--if we listened...

...to God... to others...

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