Do You Hear What I Hear?

“In the end, a life of prayer is a life with open hands—a life where we are not ashamed of our weaknesses but realize that it is more perfect for us to be led by the Other than to try to hold everything in our own hands.” – Henri Nouwen

Sometimes it can be hard to let go of what I want, or what I deem as necessary. It’s funny though, when I do let go, I almost always end up getting what I really needed, but didn’t know I needed it, until I got it.

I cannot help but wonder, what causes me to have tunnel vision at times? What is it that causes me to be trapped in a line of thinking? Invariably, it comes down to judgments…judgments based on MY perspective.

What is it that prevents me from looking beyond my perspective, at times, causing me to put myself in a box, limiting myself, and others? A broad perspective makes a world of difference. Perhaps that is why time heals all wounds. When I can take a step back and look from more than one angle it is often to the benefit of all involved.

Perspective! It is interesting how two people can hear (or see), the same thing but notice or perceive it in ways that are very different. We all have our own perspectives, but so often, it seems the tendency is to name one as being right and dismiss the other as being wrong. I wonder what causes this and how much is overlooked or missed in this process.

What would happen if the process was slowed down? If judgment was suspended and a closer look was given to that which is so readily dismissed? Could we…would we, find some value in it?

What kind of difference might doing so make? Could there be learning and growth waiting for all parties involved? What would happen if the focus shifted away from the judgment of right and wrong, or any other kind of labeling, until after previous notions and ideas are let go, and honest consideration is given across the board?

How might things be different if the starting place was more consistently one of seeing each other as being created in the image of God, and trying to receive and respond to each other with openness in our hearts and a genuine desire to try to see or hear from each other’s perspective? Not only trying to put ourselves in each other’s shoes, but actually letting the other person help us to do so. That is, instead of judging or tossing aside the other’s point of view, or assuming we know what it is like, saying, “Tell me more,” “What do you mean?” or “Help me to understand your experience of this situation?”

I wonder, how often, when people or things are tossed aside and deemed “unworthy” are we unknowingly, saying “No” to the Spirit of God within another…or within ourselves?


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