Listening in order to love…

Jun 18, 2016

Listening in order to love…


Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world
Question #27
Rite of Passage 9 – A shoal of two –
(1955 to 1957) I am twenty one to twenty three years old

Q: Did you ever insist that something be done that resulted in totally unforeseen circumstances?

Fortunately, in my case, the end result was almost hilarious, at least in retrospect, although, at the time, it could have become quite dangerous!

There have been many more times in my ‘self-employed’ life that I have decided on a course of action and simply would not listen to otherwise good advice that cautioned me not to proceed.

There is a wise scripture about which, at the time I knew nothing, that says, “Love does not insist on its own way”. That may not have worked for me because love was seldom, if ever, my motive for doing anything!

My motive was to survive as a young leader who understood that I was ‘out of my depth’ and yet who needed to assert what little authority I thought I had.

Buried deep within the ethos of the British Army is the phase, “Volunteer for nothing except certain death”. There is an inbuilt cynicism here that almost expects young officers to make silly (even stupid) demands and that as a result their orders are obeyed even in the face of their ignorance of obvious facts.

My corporal knew his limits; I did not. He wanted to explain –I wouldn’t listen. So he went ahead and did the best he could whilst at the same time knowing he had to fail.

I promise you that my life changed as that window broke. (This is one more occasion for which it really helps to read the book!).

I began and have continued…to listen!


So…what about now?

I remain in ‘listening” mode but find it hard to know to whom I should listen?

These are the days when self-publishing a book is like a visit to the early days of Dodge City when a dozen or so gunslingers were shooting each other –bullets flying everywhere; occasionally a bullet would strike home.

To me this is what today’s web marketing businesses looks like…occasionally something works and well meaning experts pounce upon the singular success and attempt to develop a strategy to make it work for others. We now have an industry of experts, each garnished with acronyms and new ‘cool’ technical jargon.

I have finally, out of pure frustration, chosen to listen to those who care about me and to leave the ‘gunslingers’ to compete with each other, which they do remarkably well.

I need to listen in order to love. What I want to do is to use my life experiences (what I know to be true) and see how they may provide gentle and respectful guidance to someone, somewhere…at a crucial moment that may help to avoid having another crepe pan encounter a plate glass window (there I go again!)

So, I listen…in order to love.

This week I read Treena’s poem True Gain


  1. Kerryn Says: 2:25 am

    Oh Graham! That vision is truly special & sooooo encouraging! Thank you for sharing it! 🙂
    It had me quite teary, as my middle son has been incredibly ill since the age of 17. He’s now 27 & still very ill, so it’s been a L O N G haul….. however I’ve seen him become as pure gold through the illnesses that nearly took his life. Soooooo much has been stripped from him, yet God is refashioning him into Godly gold. I thank God for His graciousness. God bless you.

  2. Jean N. Sozio Says: 5:10 pm

    P.S. On listening – it is part of compassion. I love people and I love their story – testimony – biography. I also have a bent for the elderly who always have a story to tell. As a child I loved story time in school – I love listening. To me it is a sign of respect and makes me smile.

  3. Graham Says: 4:35 pm

    Kerryn, How interesting that you heard of this ‘vision’ that occurred about 40 years ago and yet seems so relevant to today!

    To recap…I ‘saw’ a huge tornado moving in a direct line upon a small, beautifully kept clapboard church with a slim white spire, perfectly proportioned. Aghast I watched as the darkness enveloped the structure and tore it to pieces, boards and splinters swirling up and up into the sky. As the pieces rose above the top of the clouds they were touched by the sun and turned a golden shade. Each piece began to slowly settle back to earth and plank by plank…even nails and splinters, pages of hymn books…everything that had been torn apart was restored to the original ‘design’ except this time the little white church was solid gold! At the time we were seeing several churches suffering from ugly divisions over social issues and political infighting, we were sad until this vision. Then we saw, as we see now, that turmoil is part of the story of our faith and no matter how it seems at the time, we shall be restored and in that reconstruction we shall become stronger, more resilient and of greater value to those who observe the finished work. “I believe that I shall see the goodness of God in the land of the living”. Graham

  4. Carol Ritchie Says: 12:55 pm

    Amen ! This is just what I needed today. Listening is so important. Taking that time out to focus is so needed. it may help to avoid harm, and craft a loving spirit to help others in need,. What are they really saying! Keep your advice coming Graham, we hear you! Your book is special, unique, and there is nothing like it in the universe!

  5. Kerryn Says: 10:44 am

    Listening seems to be a constant learning curve for me!! I was a stubborn child!! Strong willed or persistent are much nicer descriptions! However, I’ve always had a desire to learn, to do the right thing & thankfully a gift of discernment, so falling flat on my face has been minimalized!
    Listening was a high priority in my career as a special education teacher to be able to assist the children, teachers & parents. Likewise, having a foster child with a communication disability meant lots of listening & happening to ask the right question to be able to discern what was needed. It still is!! Listening to God is then the ultimate challenge! It’s one thing to listen & then another to heed what He tells me! Often I realize that it’s me that’s the slow learner! Thankfully I have a patient Heavenly Father & husband!

  6. Karl Says: 1:48 am

    Oh being German means my whole life was/is based on this premise and God to this day with me on this issue
    I know we all have our”Thorn in the flesh”somewhere
    Maybe for me it was a reaction to my childhood where everyone tried to act without listening and believing their way was the best way
    I understand that today it’s such a challenge in who to listen to.God has the most patient way to guide us

  7. Kerry Friesen Says: 11:39 am

    Dear Mr. Kerr,

    It’s been a long time ago, but I remember a dream or vision you once had about a small country church in America that was destroyed by a tornado, but the pieces came back together again and everything was turned to pure gold.

    Can you please direct me to where this is written down, and do you have any further revelation as to its’ meaning?

    Thank you very much,


  8. Jean N. Sozio Says: 2:17 am

    Ah yes – as a young person without a father I found myself in a sea of older adults all offering their advice, counsel, and direction. I found myself catering to each one as they desired for approval. Later in life I learned “to thine own self be true”. I listened to what was positive and encouraging and I tuned out the negative and unsavory. This brought peace to my soul and I liked that very much. It has enabled me to be an encourager and peaceful person – as St. Paul tells us, “in any situation”. Also, as a young person I was stubborn and find myself today still wanting to use my own mind and make my own decisions. My husband who has great discernment and talent will often override my choice for a better one. Rather than trust him outright I squirm and grumble only to finally come to the conclusion he was right after all. I wish I could see so at the onset – trust his view – and bypass the “cup of suffering” of my obstinence

  9. Lynn Severance Says: 8:41 pm

    I don’t perceive myself as someone who insists (or ever has) that something be done although I am persistent when given a job to do (or a direction to go) that I work with consistency in the hopes of a good outcome.

    I can currently relate to the “gunslinging” rampant in the world of self-publishing (worse in current traditional publishing). The demands of social media and its use for marketing is a jungle for those of us not up to speed and know how. To persevere, knowing God’s call is true, means side-stepping minefields of spiritual warfare. There are days frustration is palpable, even visceral and it can seem easier to give up. Discernment means listening to the right Voice who is leading the way in love so I can love and respond to the call upon my life. I’d pray that for anyone, no matter the area holding the call on their life.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *