Julian Treasure says, “…listening is our access to understanding. Conscious listening always creates understanding.”
Some of us are better at talking than listening, wanting to be heard rather than wanting to hear.
Poet Susan Stewart said that hearing is how we touch at a distance.
If we are to understand one another, we must listen to each other. If we are to touch the Divine, we must hear what God is saying.
When we pray, we are often the ones doing the speaking, but God is still speaking to us, as the United Church of Christ motto states.
Our relationship with God is not one-sided. It requires a dialogue, not a monologue, from either side. In order to have a conversation and really hear the other, we cannot do all the talking. We have to listen.
Open our ears. Attend to the sounds of our lives, and respond accordingly.
A good exercise in listening is to be in silence. Now true silence is hard to find in this culture, but when we shut our mouths (and our brains) for a moment, we can hear God speaking. God doesn’t always yell. In fact, God rarely does, but is in the still small voice.
When we pay attention to the noises of the wind rustling in the trees, the birds chirping in the air and on the branches, the construction work down the street, the sirens of emergency personally rushing to an accident, we are better able to focus are ears and minds on what is important.
When we try to fill every moment with our own voices or media, we may drown out the One who is whispering.
And when we hear the quiet Word among the cacophony, we will have greater knowledge of the Creator.
God is listening to us. This we know through scripture and through life. God is touching us by hearing what we have to say. Doesn’t God deserve to be heard, too?
Today I pray for a deeper conversation.
May it be so.
Former international fashion model Rev. Sarah Renfro seeks to boost the body image of young women by educating them on the myths of media and focusing on divine within. She also preaches and teaches about marriage and divorce, motherhood, ministry, and mental illness.