With all the constant stimulation we have around us, I find it difficult to listen. To really listen. Even if I do try to listen and if I do actually hear, there seems little time to take what I've heard in and let what I've heard settle a bit.
As I enter into this Lenten season of 2013 I am reminded of the importance of intentionality. Rarely anymore do the things that really matter happen spontaneously. Instead the journey is taken one step after another and another. Uphill sometimes. Walking on a flat surface other times. Seeing clearly and breathing easily and deeply sometimes. Feeling lost and out of breath other times. This journey of intentionally listening, of holy listening is (for me) the gift of being alive. When I share conversation with another and am able to truly listen, then life happens.
Louise Penny is my favorite author these days. One of her heroes is Inspector Gammache (there always seems to be a murder that needs solving in her books). Once Gammache said "Our work is about learning and in order to learn, we must listen. If we are talking, we aren't listening. And if we don't listen, then how can we possibly learn what we need to learn?"
That is my intention for this Lenten Journey. I don't mean I will be on a silent retreat (Holy Lord God, those are NOT for me...), but it means that I will be actively listening for the holy in the midst of all the noise. That is my path and my prayer.
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.