We have waited in silence on your loving-kindness, O God.
It comes to me in a slow movement of grace, and I realize I have been waiting for it. If not with held breath, then with suspended expectation. It has been a week since the invitation came to me to listen. At first, I thought it would be within that day that I would encounter the holy in some intentional act of hearing. And as the day passed, and the next, I was still wondering what God was calling me to hear.
And then it dawned on me (can hearing dawn?). For the last four days I have been sitting in a committee as people have come to testify about how God is working powerfully in their lives, how they yearn to be heard, how they are asking our church to support them with powerful acts of love. The speakers do not know us; nevertheless, they come and lay their hearts and lives before us.
We call these meetings hearings. I am moved and astounded and surprised by the people who come to be heard. I listen. I hear. I attend with my heart. And through myriad beautiful, vulnerable, bold, articulate, gentle, and daring stories, I am invited into relationship with astonishing people. A hearing. A holy listening. A heeding, a hearkening, a beloved encounter.
Each day, I leave the room transformed by voices and lives that expand my heart. Hallowed offerings. And with joy I pray as my friend Lester has called me to, that my “ears and eyes may be attuned to love.”
Lester V. Mackenzie is the chaplain to the House of Deputies at the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
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