"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Sunday, March 24, 2013


"The placeholder we call listening is merely the eyehole to the kaleidoscope...." --Mark Nepo, "Seven Thousand Ways to Listen"

I've just started reading Mark Nepo's new book--the one the above quote comes from.  His title was inspired by the fact that there are at least 7,000 known languages in use on this planet.  There are, metaphorically he reasoned, 7,000 ways to listen. 

I love the kaleidoscope imagery he used to show that listening opens up a whole new world to each one of us and as Nepo says,  "[It] stitches the world together."  

I don't think we give listening it's rightful importance.  I venture to say we use it, for the most part, to serve ourselves.  We listen when we want to learn something.  We listen when we want to be entertained.  But how often do we listen in order to connect?  In order to let the other person know we think they and what they have to say is important?  I'll be the first to admit that when someone is speaking to me I often will be thinking about what I plan to say as soon as they finish.  That's because I rarely get to speak in my talkative family and am eager to have my say as soon as I can.....but that's no excuse for not really listening to the other person.  I'm trying to do better because I know how much it means to me when I feel "heard".  

Throughout scripture God advises us to listen.  In fact, He merely whispers to Elijah.  That is a parenting technique I remember reading about....if you want to break the escalation of voices in the midst of a face-to-face disagreement, whisper.  It'll capture their attention and cause them to stop talking as they attempt to hear what you are saying.

Has God been whispering to you?  Have you been listening for His voice?  

Father, I want to be a better listener in order to connect with others.  Just like a kaleidoscope allows one to see things not as they usually appear, listening will enable me to "hear" things not being said, so that I might really connect with them.

Link to scripture:  1 Kings 19:12

Take action:  Be a Good Listener


  1. Being a good listener has always been hard for me. Being the youngest child that had three older brothers also vying for attention from our Mother was a challenge. I remember pulling on my Mom's skirt & saying "Mommy, Mommy" and she responded "Not now Sandy". That happened frequently. Perhaps, that is why I seem to always want to be the center of attention. My prayer is that my Lord will continue to remind me when to be quiet.

    1. Even if we aren't wanting to be the center of attention we can be poor listeners. It's something I still need to work on!