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Listen — part 13 in a series glancing back

July 20, 2017

“I’ll be by at nine.”

More than one District Superintendent has called me on more than one occasion with more than one variation of that.

I was fresh out of seminary when it happened the first time. That one would drive us both to a meeting.

Another one took me to lunch.

Still another would simply stay on the phone for a long time.

In every instance, they just wanted to talk.

Not have a conversation, they just wanted to talk.

I listened.

They just wanted to talk, to be heard, to think out loud.

If you know me, you realize that I had to sometimes work really hard at being swift to hear and slow to speak, as James 1:19 says.

But over time I noticed that they reciprocated.

To put that Scripture in context, The Message version of The Bible says, Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life. (James 1:19-21) Love that paragraph and its imagery!

Two questions:

Who listens to you? Just…listens?

To whom are you listening? Not interrupting, not advising, not correcting, just…listening?

 

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