A Christian’s heavenly journey with his feet on the ground. Treasures shared that are discovered along the way.
Please note that this blog has now moved to: "Senior Eagle walking with Father"

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Listening to Others

Before I begin I must make two things clear. Gravy is the brown liquid that's made from meat juices, stock and gravy browning, that you pour onto your roast beef. Custard is that peculiarly British concoction made from yellow powder and milk that you pour onto your pudding or desert. I'm not keen on either.

I found the family Sunday lunch as a boy was usually a stressful time. My mother who had slaved away in the kitchen to produce the feast hovered anxiously, wondering if it would meet with my father's approval and my little sister squirmed in her seat as she wouldn't eat her greens. Once my father had complained about the roast and the knife and had finished carving, he would settle down to tuck in. It was his habit to read the Sunday newspaper, eat and carry on a conversation, all at the same time. This particularly Sunday he was so engrossed in this multi-tasking, that when he reached out for the gravy he took hold of the wrong jug and poured custard on his meat. I was aware of the tension around the table, even thinking it could be my fault and couldn't get down soon enough. Don't worry, I have had prayer for this.

The point of the story is that, when we are listening to someone, they deserve our full attention. That chance meeting may seem inconvenient, but it could be God-arranged. Just for a moment we may need to forget our busy schedule and set aside our own agenda. Nothing else matters except that person in front of us.

I am so aware that I need to put myself out of the frame and avoid the temptation to come in quickly with my own experience. There may be no need to speak or answer, but just listen with my heart and mind. I know that on the occasions when I have been listened to, when what I said was accepted without question and there was a degree of tuning-in and understanding, I left feeling warmed and valued.

This is one of the greatest gifts we can give another. I also believe this is one of the greatest needs within the world, our communities and in the church, but sadly it's also one of the greatest lacks.

Let's give this precious gift today!

“The first duty of love is to listen.” Paul Tillich

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill

"Are you listening to this? Really listening?" Mark 4:23 The Message Bible


  1. SS said...

    Very insiteful comments. I love reading the things you are wise about.

    Oh, yeah..........
    You are hereby tagged with a MeMe about "Personal, Quirky Facts." I had to look it up to see what a MeMe was, but it seems like a fun thing that gets people to one another's sites. Go to this post on my blog to see what it's all about:

    Tagger: SS aka SoulandSubstance, of the following blogs: