Monday, May 14, 2012


And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. --LUKE 10: 25-37

For four years Harley resided in a health care center. Stricken with Parkinson's disease, confined to a wheel¬chair, eyes closed much of the time, head bent down, he sat day after day. Harley's world became reduced to listening. I visited him several times a week during those years, fed him occasionally, and spoke constantly. Sometimes he would chuckle; sometimes he would add a word or two. I found myself telling him things that I have never told anyone before or since. Jesus said, "Whoever listens."

Listening has to do with giving and receiving. It is hard to do. Our agendas-work to do, calls to make-fill our lives, minds, and hearts. We even know how to listen with our ears while our minds consider other topics. But our wan¬dering eyes and unwelcoming body language give us away. Often we come to prayer more ready to speak than to listen.

The lawyer rises in his self-importance. To whom is he listening? Whom does he hope will listen? He comes with his own agenda and all the right answers. But Jesus invites him to hear and to think in a new way. Will the lawyer listen?

"But wanting to justify himself," the lawyer pushes on. How does our need for self-justification interfere with our listening?

We all long to be listened to. God does too. And God is patient. And God does speak-in the rustling grass, rain on the roof, blowing breezes, morning bird songs, the voice of a friend, a letter in the mailbox. All of creation reveals God's nature. At its deepest level, listening is soul responding to soul. Listen. God is speaking.

Generous God, thank you for listening to us attentively, expectantly, and compassionately. Bless us this day with these gifts that we might be your listening people. Amen.

-Mel Johnson

God Is Still In Control!
Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer

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