“Listen with the ear of your heart.”
St. Benedict of Nursia
Be slow to anger, quick to learn, also slow to speak,
as St. James says, equally quick to listen.
And a voice came out of the cloud, saying,
This is my Son, my chosen: hear ye him.
So yesterday I made mention of two little rural church signs I saw during my recent back and forth travels.
Two little signs that opened both my heart and mind…more or less, reawakening my senses.
Another little sign made its way to me again yesterday morning.
Having not been home for any length of time over the past three weeks, a most needed grocery run
was greatly in order and the first thing on the day’s docket.
Nearly 45 minutes later, the bagger gal, who insisted on pushing my overflowing cart out to my car,
emptied the cart into my car as I finally made my way to back to the driver’s door.
Nestled in between the handle and car was a small piece of folded paper.
Upon further inspection, the paper folded up under my car’s door handle was actually a Bible tract.
It’s always a mystery to me how these things materialize.
I leave the car, buy some groceries, then poof, God’s word winds up tucked into my
car’s door handle.
The title: This Is My Beloved Son In Whom I Am Well Pleased…
Hear Ye Him!
Hear Ye Him…
I pondered that line.
It sounded archaic…perhaps King James.
However, upon a further later investigation of the line, which is from the Book of Luke,
it turns out that the version is actually from the American Standard Bible.
And so I pondered deeper…
Most versions read “Listen to Him” versus this version of “Hear Ye Him”
Hear versus Listen…the ‘ye’ bit I get— meaning you there…
but it was the balance of hear vs listen that had me ruminating.
Aren’t they the same?
Don’t both words mean the same?
Words and their meanings have always intrigued me.
According to Merriam Webster,
Hear: transitive verb
to perceive or become aware of by the ear
to gain knowledge of by hearing
to listen to with attention
to have the capacity of perceiving sound
to gain information
to receive communication
Listen: transitive verb
to give ear to
to pay attention to sound
to hear something with thoughtful attention: give consideration
to be alert to catch an expected sound
So yes, I see that there is a difference between the two words…to hear vs to listen.
Firstly, to hear seems active whereas to listen appears more passive.
God is wanting us to perceive, to become aware of, to gain.
He also wants us to pay attention, to give consideration to and to be alert…
as well as to passively receive.
He wants us to lend our ear…but the question we must ask ourselves is to lend it for what?
We must be open in order to actually hear.
We must be wanting and willing.
We can hear something but are we truly hearing it?
Is it like white noise in the background or is it received into the cognizant part of
our brain for the processing of what it really is?
Seems more signs just keep coming my way…
So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”