Building a Conversation
Scripture Readings: James 1:19, Philippians 2:3-4, Matthew 6:19-21
- When people talk, listen completely, most people never listen. – Ernest Hemingway
- “Just as love to God begins with listening to God’s word, so the beginning of love for the person is learning to listen to them.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. – Bryant H. McGill
- “Often a person can be helped merely by having someone who will listen to them seriously.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen. – Ernest Hemingway
- When we listen with curiosity we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words. – Roy T. Bennett
Sometimes we miss seeing the blessing and benefit we receive in finding our neighbors. In our first session on Radical Hospitality we explored how being really present and creating space for another is a gift to them and part of the way God creates a graceful space for us to be present with God. But when we welcome another, often elements of our own faith journey will come into play and we discover that God is giving us what we need as well. This is the liberation that often comes with our learning to be about Radical Hospitality.
The next step is learning to play with that graceful space we make between us and another. Here we have the opportunity to learn and practice the art and activity of building a conversation. We are often very centered on what we want to say instead of learning to listen in order to connect. Here are 10 things to consider…
Filling graceful space between us and another with the activity of listening to understand and to connect is a great way to create meaning and better begin to see our neighbor, beyond what we thought we knew about them. There is always more to learn and everyone is an expert in something. Listen in order to discover what the another is gifted in.
You also might read Chapter 16 of “The Whole Brained Child” by Daniel J. Siegel M.D. He talks about how our brains are hardwired for this kind of connection and our brains are built for this kind of connecting and learning to understand each other.