On being intentional with our listening

under a yellow flower in front of a fountain

Master of the obvious – that’s me! When… 

  • I’ve just finished my sixth cookie and I get asked, “Did ya like ‘em?” I’m tempted to say, “They were revolting. That’s why I ate them all.”
  • It’s 110 degrees outside, and someone walks up and asks, “Hot enough for you?” I’m tempted to say, “Nope. I was hoping for at least 120 degrees today.”
  • You’re in the hospital on a gurney with broken bones, multiple IV’s in your arm, and someone asks, “Do ya feel ok?” You’re tempted to say, “Aside from this cast, the IV’s, and this hospital, I’m feeling great.”

Jesus asked a lame man at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem (John 5:6) if he wanted to get well. The answer seems obvious.
And yet questions (even questions with apparently obvious answers) have the uncanny ability to clear away assumptions. We should never assume that every sick person wants to be healed or a single person wants to be in a relationship or every person wants to have kids.
Let’s be intentional and allow people to speak for themselves. It’s much easier to pose questions than it is to really listen and respect the answers given. God makes no assumptions with you or me. God asks us questions and waits for our answers.
Shalom Paul