Lindsay Garrison, M.S., LMFT

Illuminate Indy | Indianapolis, IN

In a climate of trauma and suffering, when the options are fight, flight, or freeze, I tend to freeze.

My eyes get bigger and my ears become more sensitive to sound. Each of us responds differently based on how we’ve been conditioned, personal experiences, and personality. Different is good because the totality of our differences creates a more pure reflection of God.

I’ve been inspired and challenged by what so many of your shepherding hearts have poured out on the pages of social media, and by the actions you’ve taken in your churches and communities in the last week as issues of race, justice, and equality come front and center. And as I look and listen for the words I’m called to speak and the actions I’m called to take in these areas, I hear Jesus whisper to me. He knows that’s how my heart hears best, and He says, “Listen.”

He’s calling me to listen, most importantly perhaps, to the voices that sound so different than mine. The voices that speak from places of wisdom, life experience, intimacy with the Lord, tragedy and suffering.

The voice of His spirit that illuminates and convicts the hidden places of my heart. The voices that belong to the precious children of God. These voices deserve my full-bodied listening and respect. And while I know that true listening requires a response, I don’t want to rush this time. I know that there are still so many needing to be heard.

My prayer for myself and for those of you who have yet to find your words and actions is that we listen with pure and humble hearts in the weeks ahead.

May our listening presence and attention to others offer a healing balm of validation and hope. And when we speak may we speak truth, healing, and peace. And when we act may we follow the example set before us in Micah 6:8:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

And when we pray, may we follow Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 6:9-10:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

“Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, others over self.”
– Dean Jackson

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