Listening has changed me.
In the last five years, I've spent somewhere around 2,000 hours in counseling rooms listening to people process their pain.
And all that listening, to all that pain, has changed me profoundly.
The change has been good, I think.
It's also been scary at times, all that letting go of what I thought I knew, in order to have space for new things.
And I think we all, deep down, know this about listening:
If we really, truly listen to others, it will change us.
I think that's maybe why we spend so much time saying so loudly what we think.
We're afraid that if we stopped to listen to what others think, it would change us.
Change is hard. Change is scary. Change changes things. It's a lot of work.
And, because we don't want to change, we talk and we talk and we talk.
But here's what I've learned about listening and letting myself be changed: that process draws me into the heart of another person in ways I wouldn't trade away for all the care-free, status quo, easy-answer days before.
It's worth the hard. It's worth the scary. It's worth the work.
It's worth all that, to deeply understand and love another person.
And so, today, I want to invite you to listen to a conversation about what it means to be gay and a Christian.
I'm not posting this because I want everybody to think a certain way, or agree with certain concepts one way or another. I don't really care too much about changing what's in your head.
I do, however, care a lot about changing what's in your heart.
I care a lot about drawing you into the hearts of others for that soul-deep connection that Jesus talks about: the deep love that you have for each other? That's how people will know that you belong to me. (John 13:35, Kay Bruner Version)
So, hop on over to this article at Crumbs from the Communion Table, and take time to listen to the discussion included in the article.
Yes, it's long. Two hours long. But it's well worth it. How often do you get to listen to people disagree and be so loving about it? Almost never, in my experience.
May we all listen and learn and be changed to love one another more and more deeply from our hearts.