Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 31, 2012

There is a character in a Dickens novel who travels abroad and in order to be understood by people who don’t speak English, raises his voice. When comprehension doesn’t set in, the voice goes louder.
Sometimes when we have something really important to say, we deliver the message with increasing volume. Sure of our conviction and the usefulness of our information, we increase the volume.
Do you know how frustrating it is to know the answer and not have your listener get it?
Jesus’ disciples had good news to offer, a message that would save lives, mend relationships and change the world. When the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost (Acts 2) “the crowd gathered and was bewildered. Each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.”
The disciples were able to speak so the listeners could hear. Knowing how our listener hears is essential.
When you and I speak of love, joy and peace to friends, neighbours and the world, we need to be mindful of how our listeners will hear us. Sometimes that means saying very little. Often it means listening first, to discover the other’s true dilemma before we hold forth on our own solutions.
This is a challenge when we can see the speck in the other’s eye. But oh, yes, a great teacher once admonished us to remove the plank in our own first. Food for thought.


The Rev. Dr. Catherine Faith MacLean

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