Listening requires attention and focus—an absorption and processing of the sounds coming into your auditory cortex. Hearing is passive; listening is active. You cannot listen unless you are paying attention.
I wish I had kept Psalm 102 at the ready for such a time as this. This psalm voices deep anguish of the body and the spirit, something to which we can all relate in ways big or small.
In the section of Proverbs that we read for today, the Lord calls us to listen and act on His invitation to come to His table. This invitation comes in many forms.
On a daily basis, I am reminded of the world’s depravity as I am inserted into our community’s darkest places. I am also a witness to its restoration.
I wonder if God is speaking to me and to us as God’s people through Acts 8 about the simplicity and effectiveness of just sitting down with people whose lives are very different from our own with curiosity, care and thoughtfulness.
If we want to catch people for Christ, we need to be sure to do both parts. We need to be willing to listen for God and expect God to speak in even the most mundane parts of our day.