The great art of listening

This article originally appeared in the January 13, 2014, edition ofThe Christian Science Monitor.

Our society pays attention to the people who speak up. People who speak in a loud, clear voice can persuade others; they explain things; they outline the choices. That’s true of many biblical figures as well. But my favorite Bible characters are the listeners.

There are so many! I’m especially drawn to the ones who are willing to listen to spiritual intuitions that are unexpected. There is Abraham, listening to the unlikely advice to leave his homeland (see Genesis 12:1). Later, he hears the sweet surprise alternative to the sacrifice of his son (see Genesis 22:1–13).

Moses listens and, after a few objections—“Really? Who, me?”—accepts the unusual idea of leading a spiritually based mass migration (see Exodus 3:1—4:29).

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February 24, 2014

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