Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"...his poor listening heart..."

There is a lovely scene in the movie "Out of Africa" where Robert Redford and Meryl Streep are sitting in front of the fireplace in her home. The fire, the only light in the comfortable room, dances and crackles. He looks at her and asks her, the weaver of beautiful tales, to tell a story. As requested, he gives her the first sentence, and she begins.

There is a part of the story, no - just a few words - that has stayed with me for years:

"Cheng Huan lived alone in a room on Formosa Street...
above the Blue Lantern.
He sat at his window...
and in his poor listening heart...
strange echoes of his home and country..."

"...his poor listening heart..."  I want a heart like his. One that hears the echoes of all that the Father has pored into my spirit. One that hears the heart of another - unhurried, not thinking about what I will say next - just listening with my heart. Listening so closely that I see and feel what is being said. Listening with eyes that see clearly not clouded by my own short-sightedness. 

It is this kind of listening that takes my breath away - this being known and heard. It is the way the Father listens, even when the weight is so heavy I cannot utter a sound.

"I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath."
Psalm 116:1,2

The great God, who created the heavens and earth, whose very breath breathed life into humanity, this God bends down to listen to me. He gives me the gift of a listening heart - a gift meant to be shared.