Listen

“…all the colors of the rainbow.”

photo
The figure seemed to be shining like bronze in the middle of a fire. It shone all over with a bright light that had in it all the colors of the rainbow. This was the dazzling light which shows the presence of the Lord.   When I saw this, I fell face downward on the ground. Then I heard a voice saying, ‘Mortal man, stand up. I want to talk to you.'”  (Ezekiel 1:27-2:1)
On the way home from Virginia last week Patti and I stopped on top of Shenandoah Mountain near Franklin, West Virginia as the sun was just starting to make it’s final plunge behind the opposite ridge line.  I let the camera take a series of photos while the darkness began to engulf us.  There was barely a sliver of red left above the ridge when the camera captured a moment and Patti, while looking at the photo on the back LED screen remarked, “Hey look at the green!”  Sure enough, there was something there we had never seen before.  When I loaded the photo on the computer and lightened the exposure we were amazed to find the rainbow sky in the photo above with the tree limb capturing the rise of Venus, the evening star.  There, in the last fleeting moments of light ROY G BIV made his appearance.  Red- Orange-Yellow-Green-Blue-Indigo-Violet, the colors of the rainbow, were refracted from the last glimmers of the day’s light.  I totally agree with Ezekiel, in this dazzling light I find the presence of the Lord.  Once more I am in awe of God’s miraculous work.
This writing is not about missing miracles – we do that all the time.  It’s about responding to miracles.  I’m convinced that it’s not enough to say, “Oh wow,” or “Thank you, God”  when we do witness a miracle.  Don’t get me wrong, those are important acts of praise.  However, I’m intrigued by the voice Ezekiel heard when he saw the rainbow light with the presence of the Lord and fell to his face in awe of God’s miracle.  The voice said, “Mortal man, stand up.  I want to talk to you.”  What if a miracle really is one of God’s ways of getting our attention?  What if in the future I were to respond to that sense of sacred presence accompanying a miracle with, “Okay God, I’m listening.”
Listening is a precious opportunity to share love with one another in relationships.  Listening not only signals to the other that we notice them but also that we want to know them – we want to draw closer to them.  Truly listening is rarely easy.  It requires us putting aside our own agenda long enough to share with the other in such a way that they feel our caring, compassionate, tender-loving energy holding them with our presence.  Stopping to listen can be life-changing, for the “speaker” — and for the “listener.”  Stopping to listen builds intimacy and hope for any relationship.  Try it sometime.  Don’t refute, don’t problem solve, don’t interrupt with opinions — just carefully listen.  Something special will happen.  That’s why I’ve decided to treat miracles I notice a little differently in the future.  Now I’m hoping to respond to them first with, “Wow!” and “Thanks!” and then, “Okay God, I’m listening.”

I pray that God will continue to make me a better listener.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my new book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit www.survivingteendepression.com.
Check out my new video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24
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~ by revgenelson on November 30, 2011.

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