Easter Listening

The walking I did for my Lenten practice opened my ears. I heard such different things depending on where and when I walked. (And I am walking still!) Bird songs were amazing in their variety and cadence. Wind rushes ebbed and flowed, seeming to be in sync with the the clouds and the sun.  And the walking gave me space to listen in my heart to sacred texts. As I listened to the Easter texts followed by  the post-Easter texts, I felt prompted to take up listening as a practice for the 50 days of Eastertide. What might I hear about resurrection were I to pay attention to what I hear over these next days? My cyber-friends, the Brussatts, over at the Spirituality and Practice website, posted a lovely list of Easter practices, just as the prompt was forming in me, among them:

Listen to others, the universe, and your inner voice, and you’ll be privy to resurrections when they happen.

So I’m trying to listen this Eastertide to the places and the persons in whom  Christ has risen. This what I have heard this week:

  • the community that sings together brings joy and encouragement to all who are present, as well as glory to God
  • tears can be the touch of the Holy One in our healing and remembering
  • sometimes just the presence of another is enough, without words
  • God does not go away when my plans go awry
  • Light and Darkness often occupy the same space; but the Darkness cannot put out the Light
  • “Don’t be afraid,” is not just a word of assurance; sometimes it is a call to prayer
  • I am called to participate in healing my world, by looking at my own brokenness first, before I cast  blame and find fault
  • I am always  God’s work of art, but I am always in a work in progress
  • moving into the freedom God has for me sometimes means that I lose things that I love, and I need to grieve and say farewell to them

My Easter listening is profound, filling me both with hope and wondering. I remember the prophet Isaiah:

The Lord has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning the Holy One             wakens —wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. The Lord has opened my ear.             Isaiah 50:4-5a

I am determined to listen as I walk, both figuratively and literally. What does the newspaper tell me? What does my neighbor need? What do those circling helicopters in my neighborhood signal? What are the words beneath the words in that e-mail? Is that phone call an invitation to respond? and if so, how?  What I already know in a week of Easter listening is that Christ is risen, and keeps rising in me in those to whom I listen and in the world.

 

About Elizabeth Nordquist

Elizabeth Nordquist is a Presbyterian pastor, teacher, and spiritual director who pens beautiful reflections on women's issues, spirituality and Scripture. Each day she looks for ways in which the Spirit is moving in and around her.