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Choose to Live a Life That Matters

Developing Listening Ears to a World in Pain

“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

 attributed to Theodore Roosevelt


Two Key Ways to Show We Care

What are two key ways that communicate we care to someone else? Before you read further, ask the question again and then answer it. What are two key ways that communicate we care to someone else?

We may well have come up with a variety of answers but many would say spending time with someone and listening to them. Time and listening. And listening in a way not so that we can reply but so we can understand. There’s a key difference.

We Live in a World of Hurt

I don’t want to neglect the beauty that is in the world. It is all around us if we will but look and observe. But the world we live in is also filled with hurt and pain and sorrow and tears and struggle and discouragement and great need.

We talked last time about listening to our hearts. Today we’ll look a bit at listening to the world. It’s not something we like to do as it may bring up all kinds of feelings and emotions which we don’t like. We all like to be happy.

Listening/Caring and God’s Call on Our Lives

But we need to listen because in the listening and understanding may well be where God’s call on our lives may lie and where we may find how our dreams may touch and bring hope to a world in great need. Frederick Buechner said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

I believe the dreams God has placed deep in our hearts are meant to bring hope and healing to a hurting world. Sometimes it’s hard to make the connection. Our dreams at times can seem so self-centered. But perhaps a dream that at first seems self-centered is really there to bring us refreshment so we have more to give in other ways to hurting people.

Learning to Listen/Care

Listening is not something that is normally taught in schools. For most of us, it doesn’t come naturally. It’s something that needs to be learned. We’ll be talking about this more in upcoming posts but for now, let me direct your attention to two web articles that are great places to start: “5 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills” and “6 Ways to Become a Better Listener.”

May we all find a place where our deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet!

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