During this holiday season, we fret about how to ensure that our guests feel welcome, feel like they belong in our living rooms. How about we whittle this stressor down to one action plan, intentional listening to make sure that all who cross our threshold are being heard?

I have a friend who is an audiologist. I love hearing her stories about implanting devices in children’s ears and watching their reactions upon hearing their mother’s voice for the first time. Hearing lights them up from the inside out! Then there are the stories she tells about her elderly clients who have retreated into silence and depression, but a new and improved hearing aid suddenly brightens their lives. They regain their sense of belonging to their family and community.

Isn’t that the same story with us? We long to be heard and our voices validated.

As true as that is, I’ve experienced a seismic shift as a grandmother. Instead of a yearning to be heard, I want to have the superpower of listening. I want to hear my grandchildren’s every innuendo and exclamation point in their conversations, both in the spoken and the silent exchanges.

I want to be able to mute the extraneous noise of this world and tune my hearing to listen to the voices God gives me to hear in this time of uber holiday gatherings. That is my prayer; to listen with sonic, sensitive, superlative ears.

 

Will you be able to recognize who needs his/her voice heard in each of your holiday gatherings?

If anyone has ears to hear, he had better listen!

Mark 4:23

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