Saturday, April 25, 2020

Incline your ear.

It strikes me as so tender when I see someone tilting their head to one side to hear someone else.. I shot this picture as I watched some women entering a building in front of me. The younger woman leaning over to listen as she held the older woman’s arm was so touching. I wondered if they were mother and daughter, and in that phase of life where, as the mother had cared for her baby daughter, now the daughter was caring for her elderly mother.

When a mother or father gets on their knees to pay close attention to their little child it melts my heart. Even when I hear a tinge of impatience as a mom says, “Mmhmm,” to their child going on and on with their seemingly never-ending story, it’s a testament to their love. And don’t you love that move where the child reaches over to their parent, puts a hand on each cheek and physically turns their face to look at me, pay attention to me?

I think of the verse about God inclining his ear, an old-fashioned way of describing the movement.

Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.~~Psalm 116:2, King James Version

It used to be a common part of our church liturgy to sing, after our prayer, this simple little hymn.

Hear our prayer, O Lord,
Hear our prayer, O Lord.
Incline Thine ear to us,
And grant us Thy peace.
Amen.

I am tall and often have to lean over to hear others walking beside me. I like to imagine Jesus walking with me, doing the same, tilting his head to catch every word I say -- inclining his ear to me.

God wants to hear our every word. He wants to catch each word we say. There may be times when you feel like no one is listening, when you might feel alone, when you physically are alone, like now as we shelter in place. Often our faith is remembering. Even when you cannot feel God with you listening, remember that he is. Perhaps you can remember a time in the past where you were confident God was listening, even if it does not seem like it at the moment.

Try imagining it -- that helps me. Imagine you are sitting on a park bench by Jesus and he’s hearing your every word. Imagine you are walking down the sidewalk and he’s beside you, tilting his head to listen. Imagine he is sitting beside you in the car, encouraging you to trust him with your thoughts. Imagine you are hiking together and your steps are in synch as you tell him what is going on. 

Thank God he is always beside you, inclining his ear to you.

What can I pray about for you?


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What is this?? A while back, I had an idea. I was thinking of some friends I wanted to pray for, but I didn't have a specific thing to pray about on their behalf. I decided to pray that they would feel God's love. I decided to send them an email when I prayed, so they'd know and be encouraged. Then I thought about my many other family and friends who I would like to encourage with prayer, and decided to start this email.
    Two things I try to do:
-- Encourage you with a reminder of God's love. My goal is to avoid anything where the response is "I should..." Just a short reflection of God's love.
-- Pray for you. I'll pray with each email, and please reply to me with anything you'd specifically like me to pray for you. I'll keep it confidential, don't worry.

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