You might remember my story about pancakes? And the willingness to have a dialogue?
It seems we need the reminder again. That sometimes it is more about listening than speaking. It is about hearing what another person has to say and not worry about solving the issue, but trying to show them that you are hearing what they have to say, taking it all in, and choosing to ponder their thoughts.
I am admittedly terrible at truly listening. It is something I am working on and even more, something I need to be intentional about. But I am trying. I am trying to hear all of the voices and sort it all out and make sense of a time in society where things do not seem to make sense – on paper, in society, in life.
We live in a culture – where everyone has opinion about something – the future president, political decisions, the stream of violence in Chicago, Brangelina. We are desperately just trying to be heard, but we sometimes forget that there are others who have voices too. That are hoping to be heard amongst the chaos.
And then it’s time to pause. And reassess. And figure out our part in the melee.
We are opinionated about a family making a painful decision to separate today. We are celebrating that loss in a twisted sort of revenge and somehow, we have forgotten that there are children – who have nothing to do with the decisions of their parents. They are collateral damage.
But are we listening to what is not being said?
We are opinionated about a shooting in Oklahoma. Who was doing what? Who should have been where? The should have, could have, would haves. We are not listening – we are judging – and trying to make sense of something that does not make sense. And we seem to have pushed off the idea that a family will not ever see a loved one again.
Are we listening to the hurting?
We are opinionated about the future leader of our country – and rightfully so in some regards. Scrutiny over being the leader of the free world is warranted, but opinions on someone’s appearance, their families, or in an attempt to humiliate them makes us no better.
Are we listening to something other than a fashion statement?
It is sometimes difficult to listen. It is hard to hear about the things that are happening in our world and to families and to our future. It is hard to digest that and figure out a way to share this part of ugly with our children. It is difficult to see a problem and not immediately rush to find a solution.
But we must pause.
We must listen.
We must do our best to hear what is being said, but to also take in the silence.
Because it is often what we do not hear that speaks the most volumes.
And for that, we must be silent for a time.