from Pastor Bill…
Dear Pittman Park family,
I remember as a child, my mother took two empty soup cans, tapped a hole in the bottom of each and threaded a string between the two to serve as a “connection”. For me—at the age of 4—this seemed to be the most remarkable communication device. We would pull the string tight, and my brother would speak into one of the cans while I listened in the other. I have no doubt the magic of these homemade walkie-talkies was enhanced by the intensity of my listening.
What we hear has a lot to do with how we listen. The hallmark verse of Hebrew scripture is, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) Still, to this day, most Jewish families will attach it to the frame of their doorways and touch it when entering or exiting the house. At its best, this simple act is a momentary prayer of recommitment to listening and loving.
Our journey through the season of Lent, has given us a similar call to listen. In fact, this is the very means by which we seek to adjust our lives to reflect the love of Christ. It is hard work to establish patterns of listening to God. We are far too prone to fill prayer with words. It is a part of our culture I suppose. If we are not speaking, we are thinking about what we need to say. When we practice this “clutter of words” in the presence of God it does not allow us to be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit.
I share the following poem by Roberta Porter as a reminder to listen…
What was most significant for Jesus
as he prepared to leave this earth?
As Jesus spoke to followers, and listened,
love became the need.
As Jesus prayed to God, and listened,
love became the answer.
As we live our lives in Spirit,
in gratitude for the mercy and message
of God’s love, may we see with Christ’s eyes,
listen with his ears,
and love one another
with Christ’s healing heart of love.