Give me ears to hear.

Help me to use the whisper that I hear to turn my full attention to those who are speaking:

Rahab and Tamar and Mary Magdalene.

The fortune-telling slave girl who annoyed Paul, who “healed” her of her gift.

The unnamed woman who honored Jesus with her oil and her hair.

Give me ears to hear.

Help me to use the whisper that I hear to turn my full attention to those who are speaking:

My friend fired from her church job for getting married to another woman.

My friend eliminated from the online publication of lectionary Bible study materials for not toeing the party line in biblical interpretation.

My family member who is the target of discrimination due to her gender identity.

Help me to use the whisper that I hear to turn my full attention to those who are speaking:

The immigrant experiencing ongoing and repeated assumptions about their identity assumptions and prejudices.

The person with disabilities who finally is getting a disability payments but whose income still won’t cover a safe place to live.

The person whose apartment had so many rats that as a child she was afraid to get up at night to use the bathroom.

Give me ears to hear. Help me to use the whisper that I hear to turn my full attention to those who are speaking:

The Trump supporter whose pain I would prefer to dismiss.

The liberal who thinks the solution is equal access to faulty systems.

The second world person whose existence is invisible from where I sit.

Give me ears to hear. Help me to use the whisper that I hear to turn my full attention to those who are speaking.

While cleaning the refrigerator this week and thinking of an upcoming trip to Chicagoland, Pastor Barb Hedges-Goettl heard the cries of people she knows there, including the woman who lost her job for being a lesbian and the family member facing remarkable stress and resistance. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg–the part she hears whispers of.

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