April 4, 2012

April 4: The need to be heard

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By Leanna Teodosio, a sophomore sociology and Bible and religion double major from Lima, Ohio
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.
DEVOTIONAL:

Have you ever really taken the time to listen to what a middle schooler had to say? There are some who call me crazy, but middle school is my favorite age group for a variety of reasons, including their stark honesty, humor, energy, emerging autonomy and individuality, to name a few. I also love the way that middle schoolers reach out and desire so badly to connect with others, to be important in the sense that they feel listened to. To be recognized gives us human beings a sense of importance to what can seem like our otherwise insignificant humanity.

Deep down inside each one of us, a piece of that middle schooler never truly goes away. We have the need to be heard. In the first two verses of today’s Scripture, the psalmist says it this way: “I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.”

I get the image of God leaning in, taking sincere interest in what is being said. When I talk to God, I know it’s not always pretty and eloquent. It can perhaps be irrational, desperate and raw. But nonetheless God listens and cares. We not only serve a God that listens, but a God who answers us and acts on the behalf of his children. May we be comforted in the fact that we are heard. We can call on and rely on God to listen as long as we live.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 (NRSV)
1 I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. 2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
12 What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, 14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. 15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones. 16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds. 17 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord. 18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, 19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!

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Comments (7)

  1. I have 6th grade grand-twins & I find them well worth listening to. Sometimes their grasp of what’s going on is awesome! Jesus suggested being like the Father; perhaps one way to do that is listening carefully to each other.

    Mary-Alice Shemo April 4, 2012 |
  2. So true about middleschoolers; I loved them too. Never a dull moment, just wanted more time to “bond” with them!

    Jan Andrews April 4, 2012 |
  3. Leanna, I liked your image of our attentive and faithful God, a “God leaning in, taking an interest in what is being said”.

    Wilma Shank April 4, 2012 |
  4. Thank you! Your message reminds me of Jesus calling his disciples his “friends” in John 15:15. There is an intimacy in the relationship.

    Gary Olsen-Hasek April 4, 2012 |
  5. Thank you for your comments which go so beautifully
    with the Scripture passage.

    Loretta Yoder Ostojic April 4, 2012 |
  6. Thanks for your words/thoughts on this favorite Psalm of mine. I enjoyed the tie-in with the way younger children communicate and the similarities in the way God relates to us. I am in recovery from alcohol and this Psalm speaks deeply to my experience in crying out to God who truly has heard me and brought me out of the depths of despair and into the loving life in Him. I should add a funny note to this otherwise serious one. A pop up on my computer appeared right next to your devotional. It was from a “Staci who wants to chat with me.” Don’t know her, won’t chat with her, but thought it funny.

    God bless,

    Brad

    Brad April 5, 2012 |
  7. You point out something very important – how God listens to everything we say. Lately I have spent a lot of time chattering on and on to God, so I have experienced His listening ear. I think that, just as we strongly desire to be heard by God, God also strongly desires to be heard by us. That was just a thought that occurred to me as I was reading this devotional, and I thought I’d share it. However, I was so eager to share it that for a moment I had a hard time reading and paying attention to the devotional. Maybe that’s a sign that I need to remember to hear, and not just be heard.

    Elizabeth S.O. April 6, 2012 |