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Listening Hand: Week 2 | Day 7

Sitraka Andriam shares how the experience of completing the second week’s “Listening Hand” activity expanded his heart and transformed his life. How might talking with five people who have been Christ for you transform your relationship with them – and yourself?

Activity: Listening Hand

Transcript: Hi there.  So this right here is my example.  I had the privilege of doing this exercise and I am here to tell you that it expanded my heart and transformed my life, as everything that God does for us, I think, should.

So I reached out to five people who have literally been Jesus’ feet and eyes to me in this world.  Who have been very strong, encouraging, and very loving to me throughout my life, especially the very difficult stages that I have had to overcome and get through.  So there was the Director of the Episcopal Service Corps, which I joined in California, then one of my favorite bishops, a deacon/lawyer who also works for the church, and then a woman who has been a godmother to me from Virginia, and my little sister from Virginia as well, who have been amazing people to me all along.  So in terms of what this felt like, this is an amazing, and deeply transformative, and a profoundly vulnerable exercise, so all things that we know God wants us to lean into even more.

So one of the most important things for me in terms of this exercise was that I really feel like I began to see folks who have been very strong, and steady, and encouraging to me in a new light, because I got to actually ask them to tell me how come it is that they have fallen in love with God, and kept falling in love with God’s embrace.  And now I know them a little more fully.  I know things about them that I did not know before, and that ultimately I think makes me a much more loving person. But also it has transformed our relationship into a deeper and ultimately more Christ-like friendship.

A couple of things I want to highlight.  Many of the folks with whom I spoke have come to understand God’s love has been for all persons, and also have really emphasized and echoed this idea that Jesus wants us to practice what they call radical generosity.  These folks have all been radically generous to me and it was really interesting kind of to hear them talk about how generosity is a core value as a way of life.  That they see through the story of Jesus and that they want to keep on embodying through their lives.  And the most beautiful thing that they said, actually all five of them, was that they know that God has been holding them all along.  So this is a God who holds, and sustains, and cherishes us through all of the things that we might be going through.

And so I highly encourage you to do this.  This will open up many things for you and for those you love.  It will break a couple of hearts perhaps, but I think in important ways, and ultimately enlarge and expand our hearts so that the dimensions that God has already created in us can be even bigger and more generous, and that we can be Christ’s hands and feet, as they have been Christ’s hands and feet, too.

– Sitraka Andriam

Week 2 Activity: Listening Hand
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.

Watch Video Guidance | Download Activity as PDF | Sample Completed Activity

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2 Comments

  1. Bryan Cook on March 12, 2017 at 10:14

    I currently have a bad cold, but I will take the opportunity to ask a few friends about their faith journey, though I am sensitive to their privacy.
    A wonderful thing happened to me this morning, a friend sent me an email with an insightful essay reviewing the biography of a Japanese poet “Are You An Echo: The Remarkable Story of the Forgotten Young Woman Who Became Japan’s Most Beloved Children’s Poet”…..the essay on the life and work of Misuzu Kaneko really touched me spiritually. As her biographer says :”Her short life is a rare reminder that the tragic and the transcendent can coexist, and that the barely bearable emotional porousness with which some people are endowed is the common root of both their sorrowful sensitivity and their uncommon capacity for compassion”. So true for me on this Lenten jouney…I must get a copy.

  2. Stan on March 11, 2017 at 18:22

    I agree with Sitraka, that The Listening Hand has been a very important, transformative exercise this week. And I have not even yet completed it. All five of my chosen people all felt (with me) that face-to-face discussion would be more meaningful in matters such as this, and all have agreed to get together with me. But so far I have been able to arrange mutually convenient time for only two of the ‘interviews”. But those two encounters were very powerful experiences. Not only did we open up and really share some very deep inner thoughts and feelings with each other, but emotions came into play. We got to know each other on new levels, and we drew together as much closer friends, expanding our love for each other, in both instances. I am truly looking forward to completing this invaluable exercise as our time schedules for the remaining people sync up better within the upcoming week. Thank you for giving us this “assignment.”

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