Watchin' and listenin' 's the thing at present ."
Magician 's Nephew, C S Lewis
Listening to the birds, Winslow Homer
There is a time for tearing and sewing,
listening and speaking. Ecclesiastes 3:7
Maybe we don’t have to look at these entirely as a list of contrasts. A sewing project has to involve cutting out and sewing up. And I like the idea that there is a time for listening and speaking. There is time to sit down for a chat, that suits me well! But a good conversation involves both elements. With both people and God?
An art and discipline
In some training I have been doing, we work in triads, it is very disciplined, one person is the listener, one the speaker and one the observer. Then we rotate. The art of listening is a discipline, the gift of being listened to by someone who truly knows how to listen is of great value.
It may also be a gift to speak, remaining silent may be making room for others but it may be a form of hiding. It may be just a desire to remain unknown to be afraid to be revealed. This may be ok at times but if this is a fearful constant it may be time to take a risk and open up. We may also be afraid to confront what is inside us; to share it, reveal it to a safe person can be powerful.
What/who do we need to listen to right now.
What do we need to speak out about right now, putting aside the fear of being seen/known?