Sometimes it seems that Jesus likes to mix His metaphors. In Luke 8:16-17 we read the oft quoted verses about lighting a lamp. He tells us it makes no sense whatsoever to light a lamp and then cover it up or hide it under a table. A lamp is meant to provide light, to reveal and to make visible. He also indicates that light has a magnetic effect, it can reach into the shadowy places of our hearts where dark and painful secrets fester and pollute and draw those places into healing and wholeness of the Light of His love. Awesome!
But then He abruptly changes the symbols seeing by the Light to listening (with the heart):
“So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.”
According to the deep truth of this scripture how we listen will either add to or subtract from our lives. The words seem to be saying that depending on how we listen, our lives will deepen and increase or they will decrease.
Our work and our love currently have us on the island of Tasmania. And in recent days we have had the privilege, a holy privilege I believe, of being invited in to listen. Precious children of God have sat down with us and allowed the light of trust to expose the deep and hurting places of their lives. We have sat with parents who have been entrusted with a child, a gift from God, with special needs, that has changed the course of their future. We heard their pain, their love, their hope and their trust in the goodness of God. We have also recently sat with parents, good and faithful parents who should be enjoying the later season of their lives, trying to make sense of the painful choices of their adult child. They also find themselves looking through the sad and shadowy circumstances into the Face of hope and trust.
We walked away from the above encounters with our lives fuller and richer. We were invited in and the Light of truth was expressed and I believe brought a measure of hope and healing. By God’s grace we were able to hear because He opened our ears to listen – really listen.
I wish that I could tell you that listening well was always how I listen. But, it is not. I can recall another recent encounter when I did not listen well and I reacted to the words of another in a bantering and insensitive way. Afterward I felt small of heart and shrunken in soul.
Jesus said “let he who has ears to hear- let him hear”. May we be careful how we listen, so that we can have the Light of Christ illuminate those we encounter on a daily basis and recognize that we are touching the Lord’s loved and cherished children.