The Blessing of Listening

When was the last time you really felt heard? When have you really felt like you heard someone else’s heart?

This month, we have been thinking a lot about how to grow relationships. One way that is harder than it sounds is by learning to listen.

The gift of listening is more than just keeping our mouths shut. To listen, really listen, we need to engage with our minds and hearts. We need to enter into someone else’s reality to the point that we can sense what God is doing in their lives. It is rarely what we think about on the surface. Something is always deeper. Our God’s love is deep and wide. It removes our sin as far as the east is from the west. Truly only He knows the plans He has for us. Only He can walk us through the valleys. Our relationships with others recognize His work in their lives and we must listen well to even begin to see His ways. He often surprises us in the journey.

Here at WMU, our team recently had the opportunity to visit one of the ministry sites close by. I was amazed as I began talking with one of the students. She had been sitting on a bench outside the center for a while. As I greeted her, she began to share her thoughts. All I had to do was listen. I wondered if anyone else would listen to her that day, or even that week. God was doing something in her life and she wanted to share.

What a blessing for me to hear how God was redeeming her life, giving her hope for the future, one step at a time. Praying for her was a blessing for me. I was able to worship God in a new way. The rest of my day carried a freshness in my spirit, as I was allowed to see a glimpse of how God is working in my new friend’s life. I could see others differently knowing that God is working in all our lives in ways that only He knows.

God is leading. We can follow sometimes just by listening. Our listening is worship, an acknowledgement of God’s work in others. As we pray and come alongside many this month, let’s trust Him for opportunities to listen in new ways.


Laura Harper is ministry consultant at WMU. She loves her family, coffee, chocolate, and all things missions.


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