Speak Lord, for servant is listening.
~ Samuel 3:9
Breath Prayer: “Speak now” “I am listening”
With all the constant stimulation we have around us, listening is not easy. Even when I do actually hear, there seems little time to take in what I've heard and let what I've heard settle inside me.
And now on this Lenten pilgrimage 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 struggling for breath other times. This journey of intentionally listening, of holy listening can become a gift of becoming more alive. When I share conversation with another and am able to wholeheartedly listen, then life happens.
Author Louise Penny’s hero, Inspector Armand Gammache often models holy listening. For Gammache case solving happens when he blocks out the distractions and instead pays closest attention, "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?"
May this be our intention on this Lenten journey. It is not a silent retreat, but a place of active listening for the holy in the midst of all the noise. It is our path and our prayer.
Prayer: Speak now Holy Spirit, for we listening. We listen with our hearts for the life that you have promised and the One that we long to follow. We pray this day in the name of Christ, Amen.
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.