Friday, September 26, 2008

The Ministry of Listening

I just got back from a booksigning tour, and during that time I was really blessed to see how God was in the details. I met so many wonderful people and listened to their stories. I laughed with them, and cried with them. I prayed with them and did my best to minister to them.

Each night I went back to my hotel room exhausted and completely drained of energy, but I always felt that I had done exactly as the Lord had wanted. Working in His will and allowing Him to lead and guide left me refreshed spirtually and restored me physically. It was rather like the man in Chariots of Fire who said, "When I run I feel God's pleasure." I felt God's pleasure when I listened.

Sometimes all a person needs is for someone to listen. Sometimes folks just need to share their fears,their pain,their worries.

It hurts so much to think we go unheard--that no one cares. I've heard young people comment so often about how no one will listen to them--that even their parents think they have nothing important to say. I've heard older people say the same thing about their children and the rest of the world. I've heard wives say it about husbands, and husbands say it about wives. I've heard the sick complain about their doctors and nurses in this way, as well as supervisors about their employees, and so on.

It seems such a simple thing to listen, but in fact, it can be very hard. It requires putting self aside, of clearing the mind, and closing our mouths. Most important of all--it requires that we care enough to make the effort.

The people of the world are hurting and desperate for relationship. They desire a oneness with Jesus, a reconcilation with their Heavenly Father. And who knows - maybe the road home for them will start not with a footstep, but with a conversation that is heard and understood. Maybe someone will take the time to listen and that one act of kindness will forever change a life. Here's to listening more. And who knows, in doing this maybe we'll heard the sound of hearts healing and angels rejoicing as the lost are found.


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