Letter From the Pastor
Psalm 34:15 The Lord’s eyes watch the righteous, his ears listen to their cries for help.
The Gift of Listening
Summary: Listening is a gift of helping people see themselves.
I have been a Spiritual Director for ten years. I listen to people talk about their life questions, troubles, and relationship with God. I get to ask people deep questions like, “where was God in that situation for you?” People then tell their stories. Often people say profound and delightful truths in our sessions. One thing I know is that people often do not hear their own words and do not hear the wisdom that comes from their own mouth. They will be telling me about decisions they are making and then they will speak a profound utterance. I say to them, “did you just hear yourself?” And most people will say, “no, what did I say?” People do not often hear the wisdom that comes from their own mouth. This is one reason we need other people. We cannot see ourselves clearly. So, we need to act as mirrors for other people. They say brilliant things but do not hear themselves. People will often say what they need to hear, but they will not hear it. When we are speaking, especially about deep things, we need other people to help us to see things we cannot. We need to talk to people who we trust. Then they need to reflect our truth back to us. We need feedback. One of the greatest gifts you can give your community is to listen. Deep listening makes people feel loved and seen. We can also act as a mirror to help them see themselves.
I hope each of you have at least one other person you can trust for counsel and who listens to you. I hope you understand the gift of listening and practice it often.
May you listen well,