Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Bridge Over Muddy Waters

Unresolvable conflicts that seem settled by the warring parties agreeing to go forward instead of drowning in the muddy waters can be a confusing victory. Neither side has resolved the issue to their satisfaction, but pleasantries are made and there is hope that the muddy waters will not rise up and flood the landscape again. It happens with individuals, political opponents as well as countries. Peace, peace where there is no peace.

I don't like settling for building a bridge when true resolution can take place with civil honest communication. Listening is a big part of this kind of discussion. Listening, not only with our minds and feelings, but also with our hearts, is crucial to the success of any peace talk. I am not perfect at listening but I am learning to be a better listener. I want to be better anyway.

Being a good listener requires discipline. Using our ears to hear words and inflections and our eyes to watch body language takes practice. Like driving a car there is much to think about but the most important is to watch the road, or in the case of listening, to hear with understanding. We may adjust our perceptions by asking questions. We may have to discipline our thoughts to stay on target, and not wander to wheat will I say when it is my turn. Again, I must say that listening is difficult to learn and even more difficult to perfect.

I am glad that God is a good listener. He hears our prayers and is always in tune with what our hearts are crying out. But what about me listening to Him? Taking time to learn to recognize His voice above the din surrounding our lives is worth the effort. His voice comforts, disciplines, guides, and sends messages of love. It is in hearing His voice that the bridges can be built and the two sides of a conflict can move to neutral ground and watch the muddy waters be healed and their hearts washed clean.

Forgiving God, Hearer of our prayers and our hearts that cry out from hurts and confusion, I open my heart to You and pour out all the muddy water that I have inside. Heal me, Lord, and bring those I've hurt to the place of healing as well. Thank You for Your kindness in listening to me, a sinful woman. Your love is greater! Thank You is not enough, i want to live my life within Your words. Help me.
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