A Better Kinnon Blogger – on Listening

kinnon —  October 23, 2007 — 4 Comments

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.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

4 responses to A Better Kinnon Blogger – on Listening

  1. Bill…this must be the day for posting on Dwelling 😉 Good thoughts and background. I guess Dumb Ox is a step up from Smart Ass…not that I’m calling you that, now, brother…I was thinking of myself 🙂

  2. Oh man, confession time.That is by far the greatest struggle for me when it comes to dwelling in the Word. There has been times when I sit there when we share what we heard the OTHER person say and I can’t even remember their name. I am so consumed by my own thing. Well…maybe I will see myself going from “Dumb Ass” to “Dumb Ox” as I get older. I sure hope and want to. Great post.

  3. What a concept, talk less listen more. This really is a disiple I need to practice more. I tend to speak WAY to quickly, before I’ve really thought things through. And, my dear husband can’t even remember my name when introducing to our friends family when we were visiting Sweden!!!!!;-)

  4. Sorry. What did you guys say? I wasn’t listening. 🙂

    Great to be involved in the conversation with yins (as we would say in Pittsburgh.)


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