- I took notice of how her movement froze in time, head a little cocked, and eyes focused as though she had spotted particles floating through the air. This young mother was totally tuned in to the sound of her newborn, faintly whimpering in the other room. I heard nothing! How could she hear that sound with the loud boisterous noise of our family as we gathered for a celebration? She had trained herself to listen. To be attentive. To listen for any sound. I thought it was interesting that I observed her actions and then took note of them. I was attentive to her actions and her response. Then, let the event slip from my mind. It was not important, just an everyday experience for her. Keeping in tune with her child. Loving unconditionally.
- I met for a meeting. One of us to ask questions, the other to share answers. As conversation was initiated, an exchange of facial expressions, body language, words, emotion, eye contact and hand gestures were in full force. All was a part of the communication. When I wasn’t talking, I was listening…watching…listening between the lines…listening to what was being said….hoping to gain full understanding. Between us, there was an intentional desire to hear, to really listen. To understand! Keeping in tune with issues. Solving problems.
- Conversing in a room. Interruptions ablaze. Volume variances. Some people are seeking to be heard. Listeners aspire to hear. Talkers aren’t really listening. No true form of communication. I notice the frustration on peoples face. Somehow I feel as though I am hovering over this conversation, looking on, from overhead, and realize the one who really needs to listen is not. Not keeping in tune with the surroundings. The disgruntled sigh and weep.
- Patiently sitting in the morning, eyes barely awake, I listen to a 20 minute expose' of a movie I need to watch! Seriously? I think. You are telling me all of this and I have not had my first cup of coffee, let alone am I remotely interested in hearing every detail of something that now I’m definitely NOT going to watch? I realize my own impatience (that appears to be patient) and have to remind myself to engage and take interest. It isn’t really about the movie. He just wants to share an experience with me. Listen. Engage. Discover what is really at the bottom of this conversation. These are the thoughts that bounce around in my mind as he talks. I’m keeping in tune to the speech. Searching for meaning.
These are just 4 little examples of my week this past week…and there are many more! What do they all have in common? The art of listening. I have caught myself this week hyper-analyzing the way I listen or “tune in” to what is being communicated to me. When am I being communicated to? What is my body language? Where are my eyes? Am I trying to talk back or really listening with empathy or to deeply understand? What is my method of responding when a response is expected?
First of all, Moses was pretty much down on himself. He had compassion on his Hebrew kinsmen and in defense of an attack on one of his brothers, he killed an Egyptian. Then word got out and Pharaoh looked for him to kill him. This caused Moses to flee to Midian away from Pharaoh. He plopped down by a well in Midian, when seven daughters of the Midian priest came along to draw water from the well to fill the troughs for their father’s flock. Then came some shepherds and pushed them aside. But Moses, with his heart of compassion, stood up, came to the rescue, and helped the daughters. Long story short, Moses’ compassion was rewarded, and he got the girl…Zipporah. Now, Moses has a family and is herding sheep on the backside of the desert for his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. Here’s where it gets good…!
We all know the rest of the story. Moses questioned God a few times and then God always provided an answer. And then, we have the story of the Exodus!
Does God get your attention?
What does it take?
For Moses, it took something supernatural.
- Moses took notice of the supernatural but didn’t stop at just noticing it! He made a conscience effort to say to himself, “I will now (notice that he didn’t delay) turn aside and se this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” Moses wanted to investigate! Sometimes we need to hear ourselves speak aloud. It is a type of commitment. I like that Moses didn’t wait to investigate. He did it as soon as he took notice. Are you waiting…or turning, to see what God has in store?
- “Moses turned.” Moses changed his direction to see. This meant changing his perspective, too! He would be faced with making a determination. Don’t be afraid to change your direction. Perhaps your perspective needs to be changed. God has unique ways of getting our attention sometimes!
- God spoke to Moses by name. He even called it twice! The first time was surely to verify that He was speaking to him personally and get his undivided attention. The second time, I believe it was spoken with an inflection of compassion and intent…Moses, I know you and have a plan for you. If you are a believer and hear God’s voice, you know exactly what I’m talking about. How is it that God calls your name? What emotion or inflection is associated with His calling you? Why do you believe He speaks that way?
- Moses responded to God. “Here am I.” He didn’t question God and say, “Are you talking to me?” He also didn’t say, “I’m here!” Moses took a more contemplative approach. As I am thinking about Moses, I seem to think that perhaps he was going through crisis. A long time in the desert, away from family, tending sheep (for his father-in-law), looking into the stars at night, thinking….thinking about his life. Where he had been (Pharaohs palace), what he had done, and what he could have been. When he responded to God, I think it was a response of total surrender. He was meeting with God!
- Moses listened as God gave him instructions of preparation: Don’t come near here, and take off your shoes! God was preparing to reveal to him who he was and not only as the God of his father, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (those whom he heard about), but also as his personal God. Is God just someone you have heard about or is He personal for you? How does God reveal himself to you? When you approach His holiness, how do you respond? I have a friend that removes her shoes every time she comes to visit. She does it out of respect for my home. I’m just thinking that I need to remove the dirty shoes (sinful walk) before I fall into the presence of God Almighty. Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look upon God. We should seriously spend more time hiding our face by bowing low when we come into the presence of a Holy God. It is only through Jesus that we are even able to come to His throne boldly and with confidence.
- Moses listened some more. God verified that he had seen Israel’s affliction, oppression, and had heard their cry. God sees our afflictions, how we are oppressed, and He hears our cry! God explained to Moses that He intended to deliver them out and bring them up! How encouraging! He wants to do that just for you as well. Are you sinking low into something that only He can deliver you out of? He will bring you up! I love the word up! It’s such a positive word! Then God reveals that what He will give is large and good! Even more exciting! Friends, be encouraged today! If you are downcast, listen! God desires to give you more than you’ve ever imagined or dreamed. It is large and good! Get ready!
- Moses heard God say come! This was his second command to him. The first was to prepare him; the second was to move him. Of course, Moses had to face his giants again, for the good of the people, and because others are being oppressed. When Moses expressed his concern about being the guy that God wanted, Moses heard God give a promise, “Certainly I will be with you.”
Moses - keeping in tune with God.
Promises declared! Direction revealed! Certainly God is with you!
Silently Listening, Sherry
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