There are two steps in the process: first, you must listen, paying attention to what is being shared. Then, you must hear; that means you try to take in all the meaning of what you’ve been listening to, making an effort to understand.

Living in relationship with another requires that you are willing to become vulnerable to the life and experience of another, and care enough to experience it yourself—at least to some small degree.

Listen. God is speaking. Do you hear?

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That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”

Matthew 13:1–9

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At some point we have all sat around for story time. Maybe it was at preschool, maybe at a local library, or even at home with a loved one. Story time was the time when our imaginations were stirred. Maybe we ventured into a world of fantasy or visited a different period in history or hung out with a group of friends solving mysteries. Whatever the case was, we took time to allow new stories to stir our souls.

Sometimes, like the crowd who gathered around Jesus, we need to take time to listen to stories that may stir our faith. The story may be prodding us to see the world differently, encouraging us to persevere through struggle, or calling us to challenge injustice. But we will never know if we never hear the stories.

Take a moment to listen to the stories being told around you.

Bruce Reyes-Chow

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God, as I move from task to task, and place to place, allow me to hear the stories being told all around me. Amen.

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As you go throughout your day, will you listen? God is speaking and you will be wise to pay attention.

Hear what God is saying. Feel the power of God’s voice and go then wherever you may be directed. There is life abundant within for your journey.

Bruce Reyes-Chow

Bruce Reyes-Chow is a Presbyterian pastor, speaker, writer, and consultant primarily focused on issues of race, technology, and faith. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, three daughters, and one adorable pup named Fawn. He can be found at and via @breyeshow on most social networks.

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