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Listening with the Heart

Today’s Reflection

TO LISTEN TO SOMEONE with the heart is to listen with empathy and with care to them and their stories. The heart of good listening is authenticity, genuine curiosity, and caring. No matter how good our technique is, the other person will know if we do not really care about what they are saying. Listening is not about judging, diagnosing, appraising, or evaluating. … Listening with the heart is also about hearing the feelings and emotions that lie beneath the words.

– Thomas Porter Jr.
The Spirit and Art of Conflict Transformation

From page 42 of The Spirit and Art of Conflict Transformation: Creating a Culture of JustPeace, Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Porter Jr. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Look for opportunities to listen with your heart today. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.

John 14:12, NRSV

This Week: pray for retirees. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Julian of Norwich (May 13).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 7 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller May 14, 2017, 2:55 am

    What a wonderful reflection for Mother’s Day. My Mom listened with her heart. Hopefully I do, I think I can do better. For all the years of our lives we try to better ourselves s Christians, we make mistakes, but because of our faith we can be and are forgiven when we turn to God. Jesus makes all of this possible. We can start again. Thank You, Lord.

    The Lord’s peace be with you, Mothers, retirees, and everyone now and always. Amen.

  • Jill May 14, 2017, 5:22 am

    I believe that I became an introverted person partly due to observing that people were not listening to me. I grew to dislike group settings, because it seemed people felt the need to “one up” each other in conversation. If they were listening – it was only so they could tell a better, more intense story. I began to yearn for relationships with “real” people. Thus, my social circle is fairly limited, I enjoy my own company and solitude, and appreciate my close family circle. I find that negativity is rampant with most of my colleagues, and therefore have only a few friends at work with whom I confide.
    Robert, my heart sank this morning when I read what you shared with us. I know that your strength is in God and that you are trusting Him in your walk. May you sense His Presence as you continue to work with Erich. I, too, pray for continued physical forbearance for Annaliese. Thank you for sharing with us, so that we can lift you up in prayer, as well as those dear to your heart.
    My thoughts turn to Connie this Mother’s Day. Prayers, dear sister. For Lou, Betsy and Andrea also.

    • Connie May 14, 2017, 8:21 am

      Thank you, dear Jill.

  • Andrea May 14, 2017, 6:20 am

    Thank you, Jill. I am sure you are a mother surrogate to many of your students.

    Listening with heart is a gift. Too often nowadays, I listen with my own thoughts in the background. This reflection is a good reminder to give others my full attention.

    I think of my own mother and how mental illness incapacitated her for long periods. I realize she was affected by a genetic load she did not ask for. Her astounding bravery and mental clarity during her 80’s, when she faced ovarian cancer, were her great gifts. I think also of my grandmothersn who were fully present and steadily nurturing, and I cherish the memories I have of them.

    I pray for all mothers, grandmothers, aunts and mother figures. Children and youth are entrusted to us by God, our Eternal Parent.

    • Rusty May 14, 2017, 6:40 am

      So well said. Thank you, Andrea, and bless you.

  • Rusty May 14, 2017, 6:38 am

    Jill, your comment struck me this morning every bit as much as our powerful reading today. I know exactly what you mean. I believe I experienced the “one-upping” early in elementary school and it became more intense though junior high and high school. I never played that game well, and settled for being second or third tier, so to speak. Far outside the popular group, always gravitating toward the other kids on the fringe (partly because they, like me, were outsiders and available to make friends with, and partly because sometimes they were hurting and I felt drawn to them and wanted to help them). And, if I’m honest, they were more likely to be kind to me. I was a severely dishabilitated stutterer.

    Ugh. Haven’t thought of those things for a long time.

    Thank you, Lord. You are full of loving kindness and you do make all things right in your time.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 14, 2017, 7:49 am

    Thank you Father God for teaching us to listen with the heart.

    Wishing all mothets a very happy mothet’s day!

    Grateful to God for the joy of fellowship at our mothet’s day celebration.

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