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Day 15

Day 15

Author: Hannah Flood
June 26, 2020

 

1 Samuel 3:10-11
“And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant hears.’ Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.”


Pause for a moment and close your eyes. What do you hear? As I sit down to write, I hear the screech of the Metra as it comes to a stop. Far above me, a plane prepares to land at O’Hare. Down the street, the music from a restaurant floats towards me alongside the quiet hum of conversations over lunch. And above it all, the buzzy roar of cicadas. My ears have grown accustomed to tuning these sounds out. Most of the time, I barely notice them.

Yet my ears take in many other things that I can’t help but be attentive to: I feel pressure from myself and others to remain vigilant to what’s going on in the world. So I watch the news, scroll through social media, and engage in conversations in-person and over texts and phone calls. I am bombarded with information, and it becomes exhausting to try and process everything I hear. It’s tempting to withdraw, to silence the hundreds of voices I encounter.

But then I come across stories like that of Samuel, an Old Testament prophet recognized for his willingness to listen to the Lord’s call. In the excerpt above from 1 Samuel, this was the fourth time the Lord called out to Samuel, and the fourth time Samuel attentively responded. Each time, Samuel was just getting ready to drift off to sleep in the temple. As I read, I imagine myself in Samuel’s position. Under the training of Eli the priest, Samuel likely spent his days learning about the law and listening to Eli’s instruction. Samuel worked hard to serve God in the temple. I’m sure he was tired at the end of each day, and he eagerly anticipated a good night’s sleep. It must have been hard, night after night, to continue to respond to the Lord’s call, yet he did!

At Eli’s instruction, Samuel responds, “speak, for your servant hears.” He doesn’t withdraw or try to ignore God, hoping that God will go away. Nor does Samuel dive into a conversation, filling the silence with his own words.

“Speak, for your servant hears.”

How often do I rush to absorb the information around me, without pausing to deeply, intently listen and process?

How often do I miss out on really listening to what others have to say?

How often do I hear what others are saying, only to form my own response or pursue an argument?

“Speak, for your servant hears.”

In the coming weeks, conversations about our world and our role as the Church in all of this will continue. In these conversations, I hope to be more like Samuel, attentively listening to the Lord’s voice. To listen for the Lord’s voice in solitude, as well as in my conversations with others (whether they are in person or digitally). When we seek to listen, God can then work through us to speak and act in ways that bring about reconciliation and healing.


Prayer

 

Lord, Speak, for your servant hears. Thank you for providing examples like Samuel, who model a willingness to listen. Thank you for pursuing a faithful nearness to us in your love. We are sorry for the many times we have ignored your voice and refused to listen. We are sorry for the many times we have ignored those who voice the need for hard truths and reconciliation. Help us to turn our ears, hearts, and minds towards you. Provide us with patience and humility as we work to listen and amplify hard truths and reconciliation. Amen.


Hannah Flood


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