The Grace of Listening

Yesterday was a crazy day. It was one of those days where I needed to be in 10 places all at the same time. I am trying to be more aware when I feel this way so that I can slow down and not rush. Because I had slowed down, I got into a conversation. Actually it was not a conversation but just me listening. When I could tell that this was the route the interaction was going to take my first desire was to disengage as quickly as possible. After all there were things that needed to be done.

Thankfully God did not let that happen. I continued to listen and I could see a change come over the other person even though I didn’t say anything or offer any help. The longer they talked the more life came into their eyes and their countenance seemed to lift. As I saw this happen, I began to focus more on the person. I asked a couple of small questions to allow the conversation to continue but they were merely moments of permission for the other person to continue to share what they wanted to share.

The conversation ended naturally. As I left, I felt energized. I saw how grace can be extended through listening. I was also convicted about how much I listen not to extend grace but to prove a point, steer a person in a direction I want them to go, or to highlight something I did. Most of my listening is self-centered. Yesterday reminded me that there is a ministry of grace called listening. God models it well and expects us to also.

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