Saturday, October 26, 2013

One who listens

Recently I found myself eating lunch with a group of people who all talked at each other. Do you know what I mean? "I did this and this." "Well, I do this and this." "Oh, I think this and this." The conversation jumped to each individuals' thoughts but there was no pause to digest the previous speaker's words, no questions, no digging deeper.

I sat mostly mute as there wasn't much room in the conversation for a contemplative introvert like myself. My thoughts need to be tasted on my tongue before I speak. If not given the proper time to taste, my words will instead be swallowed.

In my life, I've spent far too much time wishing to be what I am not. What a tragedy, telling God that he did something wrong by yearning to be someone else. When I accept myself as is, I am freed to live as a creation celebrating the Creator.

And so, God taught me something through this lunch conversation. I may not be the life of the party, the most dynamic storyteller, the person who keeps the group laughing, but I am a listener. God has created me to listen.

Even as this truth has settled in my bones, I can see room for improvement. I am still guilty of just waiting for the person to finish what they are saying so I can stack my own comments on top. I nod and smile even when I stopped listening ten minutes ago. I interrupt and talk over. I hold back. I choose not to invest, not to be vulnerable, not to listen. Not to live as God intended me to.

I want to be like the people I treasure so dearly in my own life. The kind that create a safe environment for me to speak and be heard. Because isn't that what we all want? To speak and be heard. To be known, truly known, and still accepted.

1 comment:

  1. Wowza, this is so good. But look, here I go, wanting to comment before I even digest what exactly you said. Hold on a second, I'm going to re-read....

    I'm back.

    Okay, I still think this is so good. Listening is so important. I have those people in my life, the ones that make you feel SO HEARD, and I want to be just like them as a friend. I feel like I'm prone to be the talker in social situations, to fill the pauses and spaces with a joke when things get "too real", how silly. And oddly enough it something I've never liked about myself. How I wish I was the contemplative introvert! I think really, really listening is the best way to be. We have one mouth and two ears, so we should listen twice as much as we speak... right?!