Listening with Edith, Teresa and John

Having watched ‘The Railway Children’ before Christmas I decided I should read the book. I’m enjoying Edith Nesbit’s gentle story-telling, a glimpse of life 100+ years ago, the language… words like ‘ripping’ and ‘beastly’. I smiled reading:

‘You’re a brick,’ cried Bobbie; ‘It’s a splendid present.’… ‘That was awfully decent of Peter.’

It’s like reading Shakespeare or Dickens. Old English can still communicate. Even through unfamiliar words and phrases we can still listen…

I’m still musing on the Mother Teresa interview… ‘What do you say to God when you pray?’ the reporter asked. Mother Teresa said, ‘I listen.’ He tried again. ‘Well, then, what does God say?’ Mother Teresas smiled. ‘He listens.’

At a human level… Communication is more than just hearing words… it’s listening, understanding the meaning behind them.

‘Would you like to cut the grass?’ can mean ‘You ought to cut the grass.’ ‘That shirt looks interesting,’ can mean ‘That shirt looks hideous.’

At a spiritual level… It’s about awareness, listening…

Yesterday I visited Jack. We chatted, laughed, exchanged Christmas stories, drunk coffee… Returning home by an indirect route I met Jim. We had a long chat. I believe it was ‘meant to be’. Perhaps even in choosing my way home I’m learning to listen to my God…

It’s the last day of the year. I’m finishing my annual read of the Bible… returning to the old 1611 version… in the last chapter John says:

‘And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb… And they shall see his face; and his name shall be on their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign for ever and ever.’

I could say ‘It’s a meaningless metaphor’; I might say ‘I don’t understand it’. Instead I read it – and listen.

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