She talked and talked and talked.
I listened and listened and listened.
While my mouth sat still, hers moved a hundred miles a minute.
Would I ever get a chance to speak?
Will she ever ask me about me?
Some people can really talk about themselves – a lot!
As my mind spinned a web of annoyance, God came to undo it with his Spirit. He nudged me to truth.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Jo. 14:26
Bring to remembrance. When we remember what Jesus has said to us, done for us and given to us, we suddenly remember what is really important.
Things like: so the last will be first, and the first will be last. Mt. 20:16
Remembering centers our soul on the crucified-and-risen one.
The man who never demanded to be fully known.
The man who never took the road of delight, entertainment or self-pursuit.
The man who surrendered his whole life to the will of his Father.
The man who was treated unjustly, unfairly and unbelievably by so many.
But did Jesus ever stop pursuing, reaching and caring?
For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. Jo. 6:38
No, he knew who he served.
But, do we know?
Every moment is an opportunity to serve up love
and every pain point is an opportunity to reach beyond ourselves.
What holds us back? Feelings?
Truthfully, Jesus may have felt out of control, used or taken advantage of too.
Yet for Jesus, feelings, control and personal justice were never his greatest cause – love was.
And, it should be my greatest cause too.
Jesus laid down his crown of full control, so he could care for the Father’s greatest creation – us.
Love links arms and drops demands.
Love heals the broken and mends their aches.
Love reaches out when it’s not easy.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. Jo. 15:3
As I sat critiquing my friend, God spoke love over self, he whispered: “So what Kelly? Do you follow me? Kelly, go deeper on her behalf.”
I followed. With a gently rebuked and softened heart, and said, “Wow, you have been going through so much. I can only imagine how you feel.”
This sentence opened the floodgates to reveal deep pain, hurt and trials. She needed this moment. She craved this moment. It was a moment of healing ministry that God had set aside.
I am so glad I listened.
What if I had chosen apathy instead of empathy?
I would have missed this opportunity.
When we choose to follow Jesus, rather than our annoyances, all roads lead back to love.
It doesn’t matter if our mind protests, because Christ’s love can still work if we are just ready to drop our signs of injustice.
We simply set down our preconceived notions, we stop going through the motions and we watch him work.
We may lose all control, but it doesn’t matter because Jesus Christ has all control anyway. Following him is finding yourself under the control of the only one who really can control all things for good.
I want to reside there.
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Today, I am linking with #LiveFreeThursday, Five Minute Friday (I admit, spent more than 5-minutes. Sorry!) and #DanceWithJesus.
36 CommentsLeave a comment
I think listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give to others. The intentional act of showing we care with an all in body posture and caring heart. It can be so hard to be still in this process but I love all you learned when the only Spirit nudged you. Blessings for a beautiful weekend. #DanceWithJesus
Thanks Mary. When we follow the Spirit we are led in all truth. It is so powerful! Much love to you today.
“When we choose to follow Jesus, rather than our annoyances, all roads lead back to love.” Great wisdom! Great post! May I remember! 😉
Thank you Sylvia for joining me here this morning. Let’s both cling on to remembrance. It is so powerful! Thank you for joining me here today and for leaving a comment. Come back soon! 😉
Kelly — I love how you share your heart on your blog so openly and humbly. This piece is lovely. Thanks. And this line: When we choose to follow Jesus, rather than our annoyances, all roads lead back to love. — Profound and to the point. EVERYTHING is about LOVE. Keep loving on, my friend. #DanceWithJesus
Kelly, wonderful post. Intentional listening. Such a gift when we offer it to others. And a gift when we receive it as well. May we honor one another in truly listening, hearing the hearts of each other when we come together. Intentional listening – the only way not to miss opportunities to minister & bless one another. So grateful to have stopped here today! Blessings to you!
I feel…soothed….Thank you for following the Lord’s lead to turn toward Him and calling others to do the same!
Thanks Amy! I am so super glad.
Let’s turn and just soak in the glory of his love.
I have to admit that I am not the best listener. So often I am already thinking of my reply before they finish speaking. Or I am more focused on myself than on their words.
I know what you mean – I am guilty as charged too Amy! I thank God that we are works-in-progress. 😉
Amy, I’m not the best listener either. But I find in listening to others and to the nudging of the Holy Spirit to “shut up and listen.” I do find emotions poured out by others and a chance to let others share their hearts, hurts, and joys more than only repeating my own.
So glad you’re my neighbor at FMF! This was an amazing post. I needed to read it this morning. It reassured me of time spent last week listening more and the blessing of friendships that I can give and not always get. Jenn
Listening is so hard sometimes. My problem is that I always forget what I want to say to them if I don’t keep on thinking about it in my mind, but this prevents me from fully listening. I guess, I should trust that God will bring the right words and that I don’t have to hold onto them myself.
“Kelly, go deeper on her behalf.”” This is definitely prompting a lot of thought over here!
I love this comment. Think deep; it delights God when you go into his heart.
I am so thankful for those who have been a listening ear for me. And I want to be that listening ear for my friends too. Oh and that first part of your post made me smile. Reminds me of my first blind date. The guy talked about himself the whole time.
Thankyou Kelly for your blogs/ post they inspire and encourage me I pray the wisdom from God’s Holy Spirit will continue to flow through you and your writings. GOD bless You
Ah, I’ve felt those twinges of annoyance (ok, maybe full-blown-kept-under-the-hatches-annoyance), and you’re right. When we choose to com alongside someone like that, it’s an opportunity for ministry (that might even turn out to be healing for me, as well).
Yes, it truly is a die to self moment, isn’t it Anita. It’s so hard!
Beautifully challenging post, Kelly! Thanks for writing and linking up!
Thanks Kate! 😉
I love this Kelly- “for Jesus, feelings, control and personal justice were never his greatest cause – love was.”
I need to remember this all the time. Loving others is really our biggest job.
Thanks for visiting Anna. It means so much to me. You just bless me beyond words.
Yep, I’m guilty! My ‘what about me’ moments have crept into my conversations with friends. Thanks for sharing this honest struggle:) God is so good to remind us of the joy that comes from listening and putting others first. Blessings, Kelly!
He is SO good! He provides in those moments. Thanks Kristine.
I always think of the line…God gave you two ears and one mouth…use them proportionately. Thank you for the nudge to tune into the Holy Spirit guiding me when my human self wants to tune into annoyance. One of the greatest gifts we can give someone is to listen to their soul. Thanks for the encouragement…
Yes! Great point about the ears. You would have thought I had 2 mouths. ha! Let’s turn into the Spirit and let him direct our heart appropriately. Thank you so much for this comment. Love you Bev!
I’ve been selfish in every way for over 3 years since losing my husband, home and job (not by my choice). I needed to hear this SO badly! I’ve often wondered when God would finally heal my heart. I’m certain He’s been waiting on me to reach out in love to others and end my pity party.
Yes, Lord! I will take my eyes off myself. I want to be used in Your service today! Thank you, Jesus! And thank you, Kelly, for the gentle reminder to get me moving forward ♡
I am so glad that this post is compelling you to change your ways. I know it can be so hard and it is easy to be so mad. It is comments like this that are the most valuable. Thank you for sharing how this post spoke to you. It is a blessing to know that these words are making a difference. I am praying for you right now and for healing over all of this. As you serve, God will open your heart more and more to love.
I’ve been there, too, with the person who talks only of herself and never asks about me. And you are so right … in those moments, it’s not about me, it’s about being Jesus’ hands and feet (and ears). I must say, too, that these kinds of conversations always make me grateful for those dear friends who DO ask about me and who DO refresh my heart when I’m with them! 🙂
Yes, I have noticed there are a good amount of people who can take advantage of good listeners. However, perhaps they need to talk! Perhaps, I need to grow in my heart. It can be a hard one for me. But, Jesus never demanded to be heard. Let’s humble ourselves because at the proper time we will be exalted.
this is beautiful, so true..also, Jesus says, ‘do not judge’ for a reason! When you stopped judging agape floodgate’s opened and you allowed a person in need to be held in Jesus’ love..the greatest healing balm imaginable. And you were the lamp for His love to shine!
Thank you Kathy. That is so true about not judging. I love the idea of agape love flowing straight through. Thank you for creating this imagery for me.
Great post today Kel. Love you!
Thanks Christy! Are you excited for tomorrow??????
Love you Christy. Thank you so much for reading this. You bless me.