March 26th Lenten Devotion

A Worthy Listener

Tara Wilkins

Matthew 10:9-15

A 7th grader approached me at middle school church camp upset that her friend, who was known to tell secrets, shared some private information with the whole cabin side.  I listened to her feelings and her fears.  I asked her if this had ever happened before.  And she said, “All the time”.  As the words flowed out, her expression shifted and she realized that perhaps this friend isn’t trustworthy, as least with her most personal feelings.  I suggested she consider who she shares her private treasures with more carefully.

Author and researcher, Brene Brown advises, “Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: “Who has earned the right to hear my story?””  When we are vulnerable to people who aren’t prepared to hear our tenderness, shame and hurt are often triggered.  It doesn’t mean they are a bad person, rather they just weren’t ready to be present in the way that was needed.

Jesus suggests that we be open in a new place, but if someone isn’t receptive, bless them and move on.  Don’t waste your time, or your heart, on those who aren’t ready to hold your treasure.

 

Gracious God, help me to be receptive to listening carefully when someone approaches me.  And forgive me if I miss an opportunity to share your love in this way.  Amen.

 

Rev. Tara Wilkins is the pastor at Bridgeport United Church of Christ in northeast Portland, Oregon.

©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  This means you may share this work only if appropriate attribution (to both the author of the original piece and to the Facebook Group which compiled it) is used, and ONLY if you are a noncommercial entity.  Any derivative work using this intellectual property must also be freely shared, as this booklet is.  Individual churches throughout the world may make copies of this booklet for their congregations in their entirety or may use individual pages from this book.   The full copyright notice above must accompany any use of this book, or any extract from it, as well as the byline and the name of the individual author. 

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