Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday of the Third Week of Lent - Being Present

Looking at today’s readings, the first thing I asked myself was, “When and where do I hear God’s voice?” Upon further reflection, I thought, “When do I actually listen?” In order to hear, I need to be willing to listen. For me, this can be a difficult task; my conversations with God tend to be a little one-sided, so it helped me to think about a more concrete example, one found in my friends.

When interacting with friends, I am reminded of the importance of the give-and-take of dialogue, the pauses for reflection, and the beauty of shared moments. Particularly when listening to a friend or family member enduring a period of suffering, sometimes it feels like the best response I could give is to just be with that person. In that sense, listening goes beyond mere words: it involves a presence and level of attention not commonly seen in our increasingly distracted world. Silence speaks, and it opens up a space for sharing that cannot be created by the typical verbal exchange. But silence can also be uncomfortable, and listening is difficult if it involves messages we do not want to hear.

For example, for me today’s readings reinforce the idea that following God’s call might not necessarily lead to a steady and easy path at all times. But perhaps God is calling me to a deeper level of attention this Lent, to listen in silence with Him, pushing through the discomfort to a place of rest in God’s presence. Knowing that our presence to each other is a gift, it feels more real and instills hope that God’s presence will help steady that uncertain path ahead.

Where do you think God desires to be with you this Lent? Is there anywhere you feel called to be more present to God’s voice?

Reflected by Erica Carroll

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