Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11: Listening is Love

“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.” - Mark 1:35

“Being listened to is so close to being loved that most people can’t tell the difference” –David Augsberger

My two younger brothers and I are all close. We chat on the phone about once a week, and it’s a minor miracle our childhood home can contain the energy we have when we all are able to get together. With that energy comes questions and check-ins, stories and memories. The volume often gets louder and louder because we each want share and we each want to be heard. Eventually there are times when we need to call each other out and bluntly (and lovingly) say, “You’re interrupting me.” It reminds the rest of the family that, despite our desire to share, we must also listen. We know our turn will come and, when that time comes, we will have everyone’s full attention and we know that we are loved.

Just like when my brothers and I get together, there are times when God might say to us, “You’re interrupting me.” At those moments we are called to be like Jesus and go out and listen, to break with our busy-ness, and to be still and in God’s presence. It’s a time for us to listen and to love.

For parents: I wonder, what are some interruptions in your life? I wonder, what would the world look like if everyone knew that they had a voice that mattered? I wonder, what might people notice when they stopped and listened? 

For kids: Do you remember a time when you wanted to share something, but no one listened? How did that make you feel? Do you remember a time when a grown up asked you a question and they told you that it was a really good answer? What did you feel then?  

Dear God, help us listen more closely, to you and to our neighbors so that we might share your love.

Rev. Allison Ruari is the Associate Minister for Faith Formation at First Christian Church in Mansfield, Ohio. She resides there with her husband, Jared, and their three cats.

Our 2016 prayer vigil theme is Helping Our Children Heal from Violence. For more resources visit and 

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