June 27 – Listening: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Anyone here who has had a conversation with me over the last year or so  knows that I have been grieving and processing the death of my mother in November of 2104.  As the executrix of the estate my parents left, I set about to help my brother – who was living at home with mom at the time of her passing – find another place to live so we could sell the house and activate trusts set in place for he and my sister who lives in TX.  This meant trips home, seeing childhood friends, and listening to things I had not heard for many years now.

Are you still a Christian?

Are you serving the Lord?

Do you love Jesus?

Is Your House in Order?

Have You Shared the Good News With Anyone? 

Do Your Children Know The Lord?

How Is it With Your Soul?

I chose to, for the most part, ignore the sparks in those questions and respond to them with something directly related to the sale of the house.  What I learned was to listen for what they really meant and hear their values in their questions.  I grew up in religion that was everything – without the commitment to it and its teachings meant not just death but eternity in hell.  What they say and the words they use are pointed, specific, and non-negotiable.

The Quakers teach that, in listening to others we need to listen for the truth in the words……

I feel like I learned to separate their words from their true intent so.…… when they asked me, “Was I serving the Lord” what they meant/what I heard was – my faith is really important to me…..

So, on my last phone call with the realtor when she asked me one final time that question, I responded with, “Absolutely”.

I just hear it differently now.

How do you hear the divine?  What does that sound like for you?

I think my take away from all of this –  is not so much how I hear the Divine or how you hear the Divine but how we hear the divine in each other.  Are we listening close enough to recognize it, or do our differences so much matter that it drowns out the divine in all of us?

Lydia Patrick

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