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  • Writer's pictureBro. Jason D Boyd

Compassionate Listening

This week is the second week of Lent, reflecting on “Compassionate Listening”[1] as part of this year’s Lent daily devotional. I am reflecting on today’s devotion that hits home for my family and me. The picture below demonstrates how one feels when someone doesn’t listen, and the speaker will never forget the emotion that impacted.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -- Maya Angelou

As Christians, we are to be fully attentive and to have full attention to the one who is speaking, so the speaker will feel valued and connected. So often, the listener will sway their attention elsewhere, as in not paying attention to the speaker, either the subject is boring or not interested in the topic.

We should be fully attentive to the speaker because we are a gift to them. We have knowledge that could help the speaker find directions on their life journey. Christ is in all of us, including your family, friends, and strangers, the poor, the homeless, and the disabled - not one is exclusive. If we are not fully attentive to the speaker, we aren’t fully attentive and listening to Christ.

It requires our physical mind and strength to remind us to be mindful of others -- show that we care as much as Christ cares for us. The more we practice attentiveness and listening, the more compassion will bring out of us.

Let’s Pray: Merciful Father, we praise you for your glory for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to demonstrate compassion toward the way of Truth and Life. Forgive us for not listening and not being attentive when you sent someone; we could have helped them on their arduous journey. If we ever sway, help us refocus so that we can show compassion to others with attentive listening skills; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash, Kyiv, Ukraine, May 3, 2017.

[1] Scott Stoner, “Compassionate Listening,” in Living Compass, Living well through lent 2023: practicing compassion with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, (n.p. 2023), page 30.


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