Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Monday, February 25, 2019

really listen

I have just hung up: why did he telephone?
I don’t know….Oh!  I get it ….

I talked a lot and listened very little

Forgive me, Lord; it was a monologue and not a dialogue
I explained my idea and did not get his;
Since I didn’t listen, I learned nothing,
Since I didn’t listen, I didn’t help,
Since I didn’t listen, we didn’t commune.

Forgive me, Lord, for we were connected,
And now we are cut off
                                                Michael Quoist  (Prayers)

It happened on Facebook
It happens all the time, said to say

It happens in bars,
And around the tables in the local café

It even happens in churches

A comment is made
And the feeding frenzy begins

I started such a frenzy myself, just this evening
A comment was made
I didn’t agree
I made assumptions
I threw out the challenge

And I did it in such a way as to make the other defensive

I asked a question
But it was loaded

I could have been different
I should have been different

It is really not that hard

“Tell me more”
“What makes you feel the way you do?  Tell me your story”

I might find that that person so passionately upset that people with an addiction
get free drugs to help them,
may be in danger of dying because the drugs he needs cost more than he can afford

That the woman who is so violently angry at women who have an abortion
Hides the pain of not being able to bear a child her self

That the person who is sharp and judgmental
Is really tired and frustrated and struggling with whether his life has any value
(Hmmmm, is that me in the mirror)

Perhaps we will find that other person has a valid point
A valuable perspective

We can stop
Ask questions
Ask more questions (based on the free information we receive)

Slowly but surely the gap between ourselves and others
Will narrow
Slowly, in spite of all the landmines that lie strewn between us
We can work our way toward one another

Its possible
Jesus was great at it
I, sadly am not

But I can try

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