The Dream of Listening
by Mark Votava
- My neighbors are teaching me to listen
My neighbors are teaching me to listen. I hear the sound of their voices as revelations of God to me. Learning to hear under the anger, pain, joy or gratitude of someone’s life is what I want to base my days on. Becoming the servant of all who cross my path in everyday life, I want to show some love by listening deeply.
- What will I become?
What will I become without sharing life with my neighbors? I am learning to step away from my computer and TV screen and make room for others as I listen to what they care about. How can I learn from them? What do they dream about in life?
- Being faithfully present without saying anything
Being faithfully present without saying anything, but just listening to the mysteries of this human being in front of me is what I was created for. This is the essence of human connection. Listening is recreating me for the common good of the place I live.
- Finding God in the act of listening
I reimagine a life where I am quick to listen. This listening will be my life. It will lead me to beautiful places that are unknown to me. I am finding God in the very act of listening in everyday life.
- Listening is a powerful expression of the work of God
Listening is a powerful expression of the work of God in the world. I am learning to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world through listening. There is no greater purpose in life.
- Without listening it is difficult to see
Without a listening spirt it is difficult for me to see. I lose my way on the path to life. I mistreat others and become judgmental. I become impatient and demanding.
- The simple practice of listening
I pretend to have all the answers for everyone. I become manipulative and controlling. I live with high expectations. But I am ready now to give it all up and learn to embrace the simple practice of listening with compassion.
- Listening is my dream
May listening save me from my foolishness. Listening is my salvation. Listening is my dream. Listening is the lost treasure that I will find in the present moment of human connection in everyday life together.
- We all have the capacity to listen deeply
We have underestimated listening in our time. I believe that listening could change our world. Listening is creative and alive among us. We all have the capacity to listen deeply.
- Created in the image of a God who listens
We are created in the image of a God who listens. We live life most fully when we listen. Community and human connection will be lost without listening as a way of life. I am learning the importance of this practice in the parish.
How can we listen more and talk less in everyday life?