Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Not many people know that I wear a hearing aide in my right ear.
Several years ago, I noticed that I was turning my head to listen to people. One night at church choir practice, when I was not supposed to be talking to my friend who was sitting on my right side, I realized that I had turned my head completely around to try to hear her whisper in my left ear. The next day I made an appointment with an audiologist. After some anxiety-producing testing to rule out a brain tumor, I was diagnosed with moderate idiopathic unilateral hearing loss. I hear well at home and in quiet places. But in noisy places like restaurants, I often struggle to understand the conversation around me or to hear questions above the hubbub. It takes work to listen, even with the help of a hearing aide. I sit with people on my “good” ear side. I’ve learned to watch people’s lips, a kind of speech reading that offers clues to what they are saying. And I often incline my head to listen more effectively.
That’s the image that comes to me as I read this passage about
the Creator of the universe inclining an ear toward me. That’s
conscious, intentional listening, rather than a passive, mind-
wandering kind of interest. It’s hard work to listen. But it means
you will be heard.
Our psalmist offers praise and thanksgiving because God has heard my voice and my supplications (v. 1). How can we rest in this assurance that our voices and concerns are heard by the One who inclines an ear to us? What psalm of gratitude would you offer because God listens intently to you?
How well do you listen to those around you and to the One who sustains us all? When do you listen intently and when do you simply wait your turn to speak?
God, we are indeed grateful for your listening ear and your sustaining Presence with each of us in times of both need and abundance. May we listen as intently for your voice in our world. Amen.