We live in a strife-filled age.  No, really.  I’m not joking, but I am stating the obvious.  This weekend, I listened to a class descend into chaos as people talked one over the other.  One of the class members had brought up the situation in Puerto Rico.  “How dare that mayor be so rude!”

cricket cricket cricket

We never got past this one particular comment because one person would say X.  Then the next person would say Y.  Back to someone else supporting X.  Ooops, now we’re back to Y.

It wasn’t until I saw this Aristotle quote that it all clicked.  Each and every person there expected everyone to agree.  If they were listening, wouldn’t that be in the end result? Wouldn’t they naturally see the superior nature of X opinion and just cave?

But people don’t work that way.  If there are 9 people in the room, there are at least 26 opinions on any given topic.

In calling us to care for the widow and the orphan, I can’t help but believe that God wants us to listen to these people.  Their experiences may be very different from our own, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t listen.  And part of listening?  Acknowledging that you’ve heard.  “I hear you.”  You don’t have to restate that you disagree and that you are oh-so right.  You can listen and still hold on to your belief all the while letting someone know that you hear.