The Power of Listening
by Mari Jo Mast
I was in my late twenties when I met a few older women who were obviously in love with Jesus. They were strangers to me, but friends of friends, and as I held our fourth child in my arms, we talked about life and ordinary things.
There was something special about these ladies - love oozed out of them, and for the first time in my life, I felt DEEPLY heard and seen. They let me share without interrupting or making me feel small. They didn’t “hijack” the conversation to make it about themselves or fake their interest in me.
They were Jesus, in everyday shoe leather - offering an ear, and somehow I could hear myself talk above the loud background noise in my head. My own speech was revealed to ME that night, yet I didn’t feel condemnation or shame, just a great desire to know Jesus more. I felt love, trickle ever so gently - deep, down into unloved caverns of my heart that I didn’t even know existed.
I realize now, it was an appointed time, a season where God used them to draw me to Him. It changed the course of my life.
Precious mom, I wonder if we realize just how rare and important it is to be that friend or mother who genuinely “hears”, and how much of an impact we make when we really listen. It’s life-altering because when one feels heard, one also feels deeply known and loved, and that opens up a whole new world.
Listening to hear should begin in our home and never end - without always having an answer, trying to control, or defend. Oh, this is hard, especially when we feel motives are wrong or misleading. The struggle is real, but it's so important to try to be sensitive and wise in our “hearing” and gain insight before we speak! Motives, strategies and inner struggles become revealed through hearing - helping us encourage or unravel the tangle of lies our loved ones may believe.
Mom, Jesus helps us hear because in Him we are deeply heard ourselves. We always have His ear, which creates this deeply “known and seen” well we can draw from.
Oh, it may seem and feel we are plain, ordinary moms, but we are not! We hold this God-given ability to be good listeners who alter lives at appointed times.
Yes, women created to see, by tenderly and graciously hearing those we love - this is who we are.