September 9th, 2012 Posted in writing

Being able to listen and talk is important in these times when we need good communication and dialogue — in the church, in politics, between nations and within families. Today there seem to be far more monologues and rants than serious dialogues, so we end up in shouting matches that produce plenty of heat but not much light.

If we’re serious about dialogue, we need to communicate with people who don’t see things the way we do. We need to be open to the possibility that, since we each view things from our own point of view, maybe we can learn something from what other people see from theirs.

We should also listen to our hearts, our heads and the lessons of our own experiences (both the good and the bad experiences). By doing that, we have a surer grasp on our own perspectives and the unique contributions we can respectfully bring to a conversation.

Finally, if we are Christians, we should listen to Jesus, who asks that we love not just those who disagree with us, but even our enemies. He certainly wants us to listen and speak to others as brothers and sisters even if we don’t see eye to eye with them.

Jesus once met a man who was deaf and mute. First he opened his ears and gave him the ability to listen; then he loosed his tongue and made him able to speak. Maybe he will bring healing to our own hearing and speaking.

For in our day, when it seems everybody is talking, few are listening and the volume keeps going up, that would be a gift very much worth praying for.

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