President’s Perspective: Happy Listening

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Birding has been a hobby of mine for most of my life. One of the highlights was the day I had the privilege of going bird watching along the DMZ of South Korea with the man who was the author of the book “Birds of Korea.”  What fascinated me was his ability to identify birds by their calls. He would hear a bird, and we would go in that direction and find it. That day I added almost 30 new birds to my list, including the Manchurian (Japanese) Crane pictured above. I had heard the same bird calls, but I couldn’t identify the species by the sound that it made off in the distance. This man helped me begin to learn to truly “listen” when I was out searching for birds.

Jesus also had that ability to “listen” to what he heard. He heard what was truly in the heart of Nicodemus as they met that night. He heard the heart-cry of the man let down through the roof. He heard the woman’s plea as she simply reached out and touched His garment.

Jesus can also develop this “listening” in you and I. To hear the almost silent cry of the lonely and hurting church member who may enter the church with a big smile that hides a heart of pain; to hear your child when they act up, and realize they are really pleading for you to spend time with them. This is a skill, yes a gift, that Jesus can give us.

The neighbor who knocks on your door to ask a small favor, may be asking for friendship, and possibly the answer to how you are handling life with so much apparent peace. The teen who may argue about a Bible text may really be seeking to resolve their own doubts about God and His love.

I would invite you to truly listen. I would encourage you to ask God to develop in you the skill of listening with a Christ-like heart, a heart tender for others. I believe that as you ask, God will bring people into your life, and you can be Christ’s ears, listening with the heart of Jesus, and sharing His love with them.

Happy listening.

Mike Edge, President