When we listen with hearts of compassion, God does not expect us to take the place of Jesus on the cross, but God does empower us to step underneath the yoke that connects us to Jesus and help someone else’s burdens become lighter. One important way to help make each others burdens lighter occurs when we seek to listen with Christ-like ears.
Listening, really hearing with Christ-like ears, means following friends as they take us on a journey through their thoughts, feelings, and experiences; a pilgrimage that will probably unsettle us when we dare to listen like hearing is the only sense we have.
We may become so unsettled by what our friend shares we consider shutting down transparency by trying to talk our friends out of what s/he may be thinking and/or feeling.
When this happens, I find it helpful to pray: "Dear God, my friend's tears frighten me! Good Shepherd, Jesus, touch her/his tears.” Often I sense Jesus say, "Be at peace. Patiently walk with your friend on sacred ground. Your friend trusts you enough to rip off I have it all together mask like bandaids and expose fragile places. S/He trusts you enough to share raw suffering reminding you of mortality. Listen well and both of you will remember resurrection. Your friend will experience reformation on my potter's wheel. If you let me, I will help you listen with my ears. Listening like I listen brings healing."
May we trust the overwhelming love of Good Shepherd, Jesus, to sustain us and our friends through the travail linked with new creation birth. May we trust Good Shepherd, Jesus, to pour forth agape, making whole "at-one-ment," flowing from his sacrifice upon the cross. As we listen to our friends share deep pain, may we sense Jesus reaching out to touch our ears so our listening becomes anointed with compassionate salve that heals wounds.
Good Shepherd, Jesus, may our ears tingle with toddler like delight when we hear our friend speak so clearly "this is really what it's like to be me!"
Holy Father, reach out and anoint our ears so we hear more clearly your still small voice.
Empower listening that looks like soon to be big sister cheering Mama on as both can hardly wait for little sister and/or brother to be born.
May we embody hearing that more clearly claims the sacred role Christ-like listening plays in the birthing of our souls!