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It is always a curious thing to see what others are reading. Do they like a good mystery? A novel which weaves good relationships? Thought provoking non-fiction?

When blogging friend, Linda Stoll, made her next book club announcement for some reason it grabbed my attention. I admit, I haven’t ever joined in any book club discussion but this recent announcement kept pulling me back.

Linda recommended The Listening Life by Adam S. McHugh. I’m reading more slowly than the group and I’m OK with my lack of speed. The book is wonderful and stirring and stretching me in every way. Hopefully, it will also bring growth.

The book sparked my curiosity as I notice how little we truly listen to those around us. Sure, we hear, but are we truly listening?

Distraction abounds all around us and multitasking is something which many take pride. But something is lost, and suffers loss, when we are not fully present.

And yes, fully is my One Word for 2024.

We know when we are in a conversation with a person who is distracted or not interested. But God does not listen to us this manner. He listens to us intently, and with intent.

This is why the  psalmist was able to say:

“Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe.” (Psalm 31:2, NLT)

This one verse speaks of four things:

  1. God turns His ear to listen to me. To each of us. Astounding thought. To think that He purposely inclines His ear towards us to hear what we have to say.
  2. He rescues us. He listens to us with intention and His intent is to rescue us.
  3. He brings stability because He is our rock of protection.
  4. He keeps us safe.

And it all begins with God listening to us.

“The question that drives this book is, how would our relationships change, and how would we change, if we approached every situation with the intention of listening first What if we approached our relationship with God as listeners?  What if we viewed our relationship with nature as one of listening?  What if we approached our relationships using our ears rather than our mouths?  What if we sought to listen to our emotions before we preached to them?”

(from The Listening Life by Adam McHugh, page 13)

When God listens to us, hears us, He also sees us. And this is truly what we all long for – to be seen. To know our lives matter. We want to know we are not invisible to those around us.

Through the act of listening to one another, we join into their thoughts, their emotions, and their lives. We let them know they are important to us. We let them realize we see them, we want to be with them, and they walk away knowing they are loved.

May I listen fully
to God
and others.

I highly recommend the book and Linda’s book club. She is always open to comments and conversations, even for those of us taking a slower pace.

Week One can be found HERE,
Week Two can be found HERE.
Week Three can be found HERE.


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