Psalm 34: v 6. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
Children are taught to talk, to read and write, to walk, to run, to play.
We prepare them for competition, for achievement-we teach them to be busy; inactivity is almost a crime.
But as a child, I don’t remember anyone teaching me how to be Still.
Oh, I’ve been told, ‘Be Still. Be quite.’ What a terrible thing, to tell a child to be quiet, when we do not know how to be quiet or still ourselves.
I’ve never had a lesson in how to listen in all my life. Listening is taken for granted.
It’s assumed that if you are not physically deaf you do not need to be taught how to listen. But can I hear the difference between a robin and a wren? Which song is the starling’s, and which thrush’s?
Listening provides so many moments of joy. So much is recognised, experienced and recorded by the ear; the hum and buzz and click of the sounds of summer; dragon-flies, crickets, insects, bees; trees rustling, rain gurgling in gutters and pattering on windows; the sea sighing on a shingle beach, the breath and whisper
of love itself…
How often do I nod, as if I were listening, to words I cannot hear, because I’m thinking about something else, because I’m planning what I intend to say.
Yet there are those who are good listeners: a good conversationalist listens, a good counsellor or adviser listens, a good doctor listens, a good judge, a good
friend. And you, my Lord, you listen even to my thoughts. Teach me to listen,
that I may hear when you speak in the wind, in music, and in love.
Let us Pray
Teach us, Lord, to stand silently in your presence,
and quietly to marvel, to rejoice and to give thanks.