Ernest Hemingway once said “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen”.
A prison chaplain once said to me that she was astonished when she first heard a prisoner telling her that he had never had a person in his life who would listen to him.
Listening to someone is a sign of respect. Everyone deserves to be respected and listened to. Everyone deserves to be taken seriously.
God is our rock and fortress. We can count on him. He will listen when we are crying out in need. He will hear the cry of the poor, and he will show compassion to those who are not treated fairly.
According to Jesus, the greatest commandments are to love God, our neighbour and ourselves. We can’t love God and despise our neighbour, and equally we can’t love our neighbour if we don’t love ourselves.
Let us make an effort to listen carefully and show respect for one another – and ourselves.
Sometimes we forget that the original meaning of “obey” is to “listen carefully” (Latin: ob-audire). Abraham obeyed God’s voice and was given the commandments.