We sit in a booth at a bustling restaurant. All around us conversations are happening about business, family, weekend events. At our table the topic is words. I’m here with two friends and their word-talented daughter. They ask me about writing and I try, awkwardly, to answer.
Right before we leave I say this, “I guess being a good writer is really all about being a good listener first.”
That sentence hangs in the air as I slip back into my car to head home. It follows me all week. Because I realize it isn’t just true of being a writer.
Being a good cook is all about being a good listener first.
Being a good mom is all about being a good listener first.
Being a good friend is always about being a good listener first.
Being a good anything is always about being a good listener first.
We listen in many ways–with our ears, yes, but also with our eyes, our hearts, the Spirit who lives within us (the One who promises to lead us into all truth). How else will we know what’s needed? I know what it’s like to be loud on the inside. To be so full of dreams and plans and hopes that I can’t hear anything else. Then I try things from that place and they just don’t work. Hard work doesn’t make up for what we haven’t heard.
Stop for a moment. Close your eyes. Listen beyond the quiet or the loud around you.
Tune your mind and heart like the dial on a radio station to what you’re created to hear. It’s both strange and beautiful, isn’t it?
It can drown out the fear.
It can give you courage to do what you need to do.
It can cause a response to rise up within you that you know you must share with the world.
Because it comes from a place of love.
I write because I love Jesus.
And I love you.
I don’t know how or why I would do it otherwise. It’s the heart and soul of what keeps me coming back to this place, these pages. It’s the conversation within me that never ends.
What is being said to your heart today?
And what is the thing only you can say in return? It might not even be with words. It might be with colors, relationships, food, spreadsheets.
The world needs your response. You’re irreplaceable. Without your voice, your passion, something is missing from the conversation.
Whatever you bring, we need it.
We need you.
Can you hear me now?