Monday, May 16, 2011

Listening

Over the past several weeks I have been conflicted about a situation.  I simply did not see the situation the same as others.  I wondered if there was something I was missing or if I were to stand my ground and give voice to a different opinion. 

As the weeks passed I continued to seek the Holy One asking for the path that I needed to take to be illuminated.  As in many situations that each of us encounter I longed to have the path revealed and yet it eluded me. Then the other night in the midst of a very heated conversation something began to happen that opened my heart and mind. I heard two very important questions floating to the surface. Questions that are the core of who I claim to be.

The first question that came to me was "who do you say that I am?"  If I am one that believes that Jesus is one that always redeems; then I must be willing to offer redemption even when I do not fully understand or agree with the actions and responses of another.  If I believe Jesus to be one that restores; then I must be willing to restore relationships even when they have caused anxiety and conflict over something I do not fully understand.  If I believe Jesus to be the Good Shepherd that comes after the one that has lost their way; then I must be willing to go after the one (the person or idea) that brings the community together.

 The second thing that I heard was: "love your neighbor as yourself."  Loving our neighbors isn't just about loving those that live right next to us; those that are like us; or those that enter the walls of our church.  If I am to love my neighbor I must stop along the road when someone is hurting.  I must tend to them even when it is difficult.  I must tend to them even when I do not want to.  This sounds so easy but it is not when we get right down to it. 

In the midst of situation that I could not seem to find my way I heard something that I did not expect. I heard two important questions that led to responding in a way that I proclaim and often fall so short of living.  I experienced once again, that a right decision often leads to loving righteously.  It opens us in a different way that stretches us beyond what we are accustomed to. 

In the midst of your difficult situations may you listen to the questions that are waiting you.  May your eyes be opened and your ears be tuned to that in which you least expect.  May you be able to stand and love deeply.