Activity Guidance – Listening Hand: Week 2
Who has been a channel of God’s grace for you? In conversation or over email this week, reach out to five people to find out how they came to know God’s love. How does the Good News shape the way they live? Reflect on how you are inspired by their witness and examples.
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The second week’s activity, “Listening Hand,” invites us to listen and learn as we share five conversations with people who embody the Life of God. How might their stories invite you to express your own?
Transcript: In the second week of our program, we’re focusing on the First Mark of Love, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
And so the activity we’re inviting you into this week is a way of expressing and receiving that Good News by engaging in a conversation about the Good News with someone that you know. So the activity is called “Listening Hand.” You’ll see on the activity a printed hand with five fingers. Above each of the fingers, we would like you to put a name of a person that you think embodies the life of God. And we would like you during the course of this week to approach each of these persons — write an email, or make a phone call, or agree to meet with them for a cup of coffee — and we would like you to ask them to talk about their life in God. How have they known and received the love of God? What for them is the Good News of the gospel? What do they understand the Kingdom of God to be and how has this influenced the way that they live in the world? Listen to their testimony and listen to how they proclaim good news. And make notes to yourself of things that you want to remember from what they’ve said in the palm of the hand or in the rest of this picture. Use this as an occasion for listening and for learning, and then think, too, about what Good News you have to share with others. How has God been active in your own life and how would you share that news with others?
– Br. David Vryhof
I had amazing responses from the people I asked. They were all different in the way they were Christians: a fundamentalist, a scientist, a social activist, a cradle Anglican, for example.I was really out of my comfort zone doing this and I chickened out and emailed them all rather than talking to them. But I was just blown away by their responses and it all boiled down to this: God loves me; I will try as best I can, given my human frailty, to love others. I will fail but I will be upheld by God. So, despite my initial misgivings, it turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done! Thank you for offering it as an exercise and thank you, Sitraka, for your comments
For most of us these people will be extraordinarily ordinary in the larger sense of fame and renown. I need to remember this, that the important work of the Kingdom is being done in thousands of small and quiet ways. I can become immobilized by the notion that the world needs huge solutions, and these reminders of small lives lived purposefully well can bring clarity to my own possibilities.
It’s a bit strange and ironic that the five people I thought of as I read this, were different ones from those I mentioned in February. I have had so many people who have had a positive influence on my life, I cannot begin to list all of them. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty! This is a helpful exercise!
Thanks for being one of those people whose sermons have been so helpful. May God bless you!
Thank you, Brothers all, for this Lenten opportunity to continue to learn.
This morning’s piece – March 11th – was from Sitkara. Thank you to him for his recognition of those who have made a difference to his life. // I too have numerous people throughout my life who have made a difference and have led me to where I am now. I call them my angels. Unbelievable people – coming from my background these were not thoughts that were put into speech, but I look back upon their kindnesses and know that they were the silent ones in God’s flock. They simply expressed their love in very hand-on ways. Christina
The story of the stones relates for me my letter to God referring to the stepping stones of my life with God. Starting with my Dad kneeling and saying my childhood nightly prayers “now i lay me down to sleep…”, and continuing with the love of God shown to me by my aunt and uncle who guided my childhood into youth. This eatablished my faith that although the later stepping stone were wrought with chalanges, the stones continue to remind me of Gods love for me and my love of God. And i am most thankful and was (and remain) most fully alive when God brought my wife into my life 16 years ago. Thanks be to God!
The phrase ‘listening hand’ means to me to be practicing awareness of what God is doing right where I am. What do I need to do in my situation? Wash the dishes? Listen to someone’s story about their day? Do my private practice and clear my mind of distractions? Pay attention as I walk down the street to the truck about to turn in front of me before I cross the street? To the pigeons pecking the ground at my feet in search of crumbs? ‘Listening hand’ is a strong teaching, and I need to pay attention every day!
In our Bible Study Group this morning we shared our blessings, as we do each Thursday. I heard testimonies from Lois, Mary, Sheila, Tom, Karel and Linda. According to each one, God is good, and He truly answers prayer. I joined with them in sharing my own blessings. One of mine is that two of my close relatives have started back to church and are so full of joy about their decisions.