We can still be a blessing

L: Listen

Ironically, trying to blog about this topic today: listening. I am writing while listening to Jimmy Fallon in the background doing his monologue.

Ok now turning that off.

I find the input these days is constant: texts stream in while I am on a Zoom call with 16 people and emails keep coming. If that isn’t enough, Facebook messengers is trying to keep up and my kids make it all better by never being quiet from dawn to dusk.

There is a lot we can listen to in these days. But as I read in John 10 today, we listen only to the Good Shepherd because we know His voice. The Shepherd knows us by name.

And because of that truth, I believe Jesus is calling us to listen to those around us who may not know that Voice yet.

How can we listen to our friends in these days?

Some ideas:

Ask them how they are. What are they doing? One of my neighbors is doing home improvement projects. Two had birthdays this last weekend.

Ask them what they are grieving? What are they grateful for? What have some highlights been or lowlights?

After some people answer that they are fine, homeschooling is fine and wiping Clorox wipe bottles off with other Clorox wipes is fine, maybe ask them how they are really doing.

My sister started a text stream with many of strewn from DC, Philly, VA, MN and CA. It is “what we did today” and how we are managing in different spheres of life. Pictures of her immaculate garden and her list of activities made us all tired, an envious.

We have many options for input these days. So much content, youTube videos, Good News Stories with John Krasinski, Jimmy Fallon at home, CDC updates, NPR podcasts, books on my bedside table, BBC worldwide updates and oh yeah, those three lovely offspring that are home with us.

Let’s make sure we are also listening to those around us. Again, loving our neighbors in these days is just as important as ever. Give them a chance to share how they are doing.

And do you know what I find makes me a better listener?

Turn off the phone or tuck it where you literally cannot see it

Look at their faces and try to not say anything until they are done speaking (this may seem obvious to some of you. I am an extrovert and I need to do this intentionally).

Have spaces where you are being listened to. Brian and I just took a walk and he said, “let’s talk about you. What have you been doing today?” When I feel heard, I do not have that huge burning need to be speaking.

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