Becoming a Better ‘Listener’…
It’s the day after Easter. I hope your Holy season was blessed in many ways as was mine.
I told you at the beginning of Lent—the period of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter—a Lenten focus was not part of my faith tradition. It’s only been in the last few years I’ve embraced this tradition, albeit, oftentimes clumsily. Like honing any discipline, spiritual disciplines take practice.
Two spiritual practices I find challenging are solitude and silence. I tend to ‘talk’ more than ‘listen.’ It’s easier for me to ‘do’ than to simply ‘be.’ A Dallas Willard Lenten devotional challenges me to pursue these disciplines: Dr. Willard says:
“Among the practices that we learn to engage in to enable effectual focus upon Christ is a combination of solitude and silence…These are root-reaching practices that slowly bring us to an understanding of who and what we really are…that allow God to reoccupy the places in our lives where only he belongs.” 
I’m at a juncture in my journey when I want more than anything else for the spiritual work being accomplished in me to be “root-reaching.” I want to produce good fruit that develops from the inside out—fruit not I, but only the Spirit, can produce.
As Holy Week 2017 came to a close, so did my meditations in the Gospel of John. One of those last mornings, I was struck particularly with words Jesus spoke to Pilate in John 18:37 “…For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come…to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (emphasis is mine)
The prayer I entered in my journal that morning was simple.
Jesus, I believe you are Truth. I want to be one of those ‘everyone’s’ who is of the Truth and listens to your voice. Holy Spirit, teach me to be a better listener—to hear the voice of Jesus more clearly.
In order to be successful in hearing “the voice of Jesus,” a voice that speaks to my spirit, I know I must carve out more time for solitude and silence.
A simple congregational meditation Pastor Rodney Wright led us in during the Good Friday service set the tone for my next steps. I want to illustrate the simple words using photographs my husband has taken during the season of Lent.
Blessings on your journey into stillness…