A story broke in the news in the past week about a pilot on a small plane in Florida who suddenly became unconscious. A passenger (with no flying experience) was able to safely land the plane simply by listening to the instructions being given to him over the radio by the air traffic controller (who also happened to be a flight instructor).
- Can you even imagine?!
- Can you imagine the fear, the anxiety, the nerves, and the level of listening required to make this happen?
- Can you imagine the level of trust needed in the air traffic controller and in the passenger who was listening and following directions?
- Can you imagine the level of connection in this listening?
- What if we listened to one another like this?
- What if we listened to God like this? What if we listened like our lives (and the lives of others) depended on it? What if we listened with trust even through our fear and anxiety and nerves?
Here’s the deal my friends, there ARE people (lots of people) who need YOU, who need US, to listen like their lives depend on it, because sometimes they do! Listen for what is said and unsaid, listen to see if they are safe – from others and/or themselves. Listen. Listen to children for signs of abuse or neglect, listen for signs of relationship violence in teens and in adults, listen for signs of distress and depression and suicide, listen for unmet needs of food and shelter.
Are you worried that you don’t know how to listen in that way, at that depth, with that level of connection? You could start by getting trained in Mental Health First Aid. We could ALL start by working harder at listening to God.
Let’s all commit to listening well to other people, to God, and to our own hearts, because someone’s life likely depends it, it may even be our own.