July 22, 2015
The good news for today
Jesus concludes his parable of the sower: “If anyone has ears, listen!” (Matthew 13, 9)
A sower puts seeds into the ground. You are a sower, you seed people’s lives with reflective thoughts, moral decisions, impulsive anger, joyful surges, and on and on. How you respond to a taunt, how you acknowledge a sweet smile, how you create quality at work or at home—these are seeds you sow in the hearts of people around you. But it is all about listening with your whole self—about communicating heart to heart—that kind of listening—and being awake—what do people hear from you?
If you have ears—listen with them—and listen with your heart!
Listening is a great gift. All of us hear and partly hear. You’re watching TV and wife says something you miss; your child tells you about school—not for you to do anything about it, but just for you to listen! Jokes abound about bad listening. For instance, how you can tell your husband gossip—knowing it will stop because he wasn’t listening anyhow! You mis-hear because you don’t listen; you hear an angry tone—but the tone is not directed at you; it is just the speaker’s frustration—some disturbance, annoyance or passing irritation—but you weren’t really listening. We all do this—even to ourselves, we don’t even listen to ourselves.
Real listening involves letting a truth drop into your soul, nurturing it there, allowing it to grow, seed-like, into its full meaning. So often, therefore, loving IS listening…loving is to hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. True listening requires your loving, attentive ear—it can mean staying or getting awake to what is NOT being said. Do you hear the anguish hinted at? Do you hear the loneliness, confusion, or fear that is beyond the spoken words?
Your Good News? God has awakened you to listen. In listening, you have been given the seeds of another person’s life. Listen to them—and help others listen, too. When anyone hears others, it makes a difference. Just notice what a difference! It is part of the Good News—to listen!