I’ve been impressed with my eldest son’s writing for a long time. He is a university student, so much of his writing is in getting assignments done. He is also a gifted song-writer and lyricist and most of his free time is taken up with his music.
But. When he gets the chance. He blogs. And he says more in a few paragraphs than I can say in an essay.
His Nobody Listens post is another good example of his writing. It’s also pertinent to my own life.
I’m not noted for being the best listener. I am attempting to improve with age – and there has been some minor progress but still…
Dwelling in the Word: Listening the Other Into Free Speech
One of the practices we did at the Missional Order gathering, and one that I’ve seen a number of times at different Allelon events is what’s called Dwelling in the Word – something we do at the beginning of each day. The sub-title is Listening the Other Into Free Speech. Luke 10:1-12 is the passage used. (A number of Dakota elders shared this practice with Pat Keifert, who has shared it with the rest of us.)
In these kind of gatherings, the idea is that we read the passage together (one person reading it aloud) and then find a “reasonably friendly stranger” to discuss where in the passage we were arrested…what gave us pause. The Listening the Other into Free Speech takes place as we report back to the group what our now “new friend” saw in the passage.
I’ve found it interesting the number of folk who mention where the person stopped and then go off on their own thoughts. This happens less and less as we spend more time together. We learn how to listen in this practice – and we see more of the Sending God we serve as we study the passage from Luke-Acts. Really listening to the other is hard – especially with all of the thoughts racing through our own heads.
My son Liam, ends his post with this comment,
Thomas Aquinas was known as the Dumb Ox because when someone said something to him he wouldn’t respond right away. Instead, he would think long and hard and give the perfect response. The response that took everything you said and processed it. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to do that. Would people even give me the chance?
Would that a similar sobriquet to Aquinas’ be used for me.