Tag Archives: Listening

Take off the mask

If the first words I heard from Jesus were these, I’d probably follow someone else. “If any want to become my followers,” he said, “let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matt 16:24). Another time, I heard him say he came so we might have abundant life, more and better […]

Down by the river

There are blessings that accrue and appreciate only as one’s years accrue. As the time remaining in life decreases, experience increases, and so does, one hopes, wisdom. Perspective lengthens, and in the longest perspective all of life’s experiences – diverse and contradictory as they seem – may be viewed in their proper places, as integral […]

When night has ended

Jesus erases differences so completely, he leaves me dumbfounded. For example, “Whoever welcomes you,” he says to his disciples, “welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me” (Matt. 10:40-42). For anyone who welcomes you, you are not merely someone who holds certain beliefs or belongs to a specific faith tradition. You […]

To listen for the silken sound

With all the languages people were speaking when the Holy Spirit came to the church on the day of Pentecost – Luke lists fifteen (Acts 2:1-11), and there were probably more – I wonder what language God spoke. Was it one of those Luke mentions? Was it all of them? Was it none of them? […]

A little R&R

Did Jesus really say we can’t be his disciple if we don’t give up all our possessions (Luke 14:33)? Think how hard it would be if we did that. How would you hold your breakfast cereal? How would you brush your teeth in the morning? If that’s what he meant, there would be a lot […]

Teach us to pray

Once, after the disciples had observed Jesus praying, one of them said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1-13). So he gave them some words, though it wasn’t words they wanted, and though any words could have served as well, even words they already knew. As observant Jews, the disciples already knew the […]

Hearing Wisdom’s call in a noisy world

If you recall 1975’s pet rock fad, you won’t be surprised to learn of the fellow – Larry was his name – who lived alone with a stone he was trying to teach to talk. He rescued the palm-size oval stone from a beach and kept it on a shelf, covered it with a piece […]

Are you the one?

It’s a simple question, and you will spend your whole life answering it: Who are you? Are you the person others expect you to be, or are you an authentically original expression of God? Will you live in such a way that you leave others no choice but to decide: Will they live as their […]

Time to stand and stare

National Poetry Month, Day 4  //  For too long I lived by the Red Queen’s advice to Alice: “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that” (Lewis Carroll, […]

The silken sound

National Poetry Month, Day 3  //  Seeking connections that hold – the image from yesterday’s poem by Whitman, “A Noiseless Patient Spider” – isn’t first of all about “seeking the spheres to connect them.” Before that, it’s about rediscovering silence and nurturing it so that, with what Benedict called the ear of my heart, I […]