Invitations for reflection on a Friday, a little inspired by today’s Advent journal thought.
1. We often say, “I don’t know whether God is listening when I talk.” We often say, “You don’t listen when I talk. You are always cutting in with your answers and your experiences.” What if God is a really good listener after starting the conversation with an invitation to come and find rest? Would that change in the picture help?
2. I was talking with a wife recently, not long before her husband of four decades was going to die. She had taken good care of him during some rough times the past couple years. As I listened, and tried to provide some comfort, I thought of an image. “You know how we want to hear God say to us, ‘well done, good and faithful servant‘ after we die? I have a feeling that after your husband dies, God will look at you and whisper, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You loved well. I’ll take care of him now.'” I want to sit with that for awhile.
3. I realized the other day, as I drove past the building on our hospital campus where vaccinations are being offered, that people will still be getting sick and will still be struggling, and some of them will still be dying. And as I talked to hospital coworkers that day, I saw how tired and committed they are. So if you have a friend or family member who works in healthcare (hospital, long-term care), ask them how they are doing. And then ask them how they are doing. And then ask them how they are doing. And then shut up. And when you think you may be ready to say something, shut up. And then when you think you may be ready to say something, shut up. Most of our impulse to talk in those moments is about removing our discomfort. If you are concerned about them (and you probably should be), don’t worry about removing your discomfort, work on fostering their comfort.