Friday, February 1, 2013

LISTEN!! (Attention is kindly requested...)

All my life I have been told to calm down and say things without emotion and I would be taken seriously. These bouts I had of hysteria weren't about being a drama queen. I was terrified for my friends and I was trying--- as a fifth grader (up to.... the present time) to help! You see I grew up in the 1970's when Mayberry was being invaded by Woodstock and it upset me terribly. All these parents had no idea what was going on with their children and I wanted to warn them. So I sounded the alarm when my friends started experimenting with drugs. The wide-eyed smiles of the parents or teachers turned patronizing as they placed their hand on my shoulder and tole me to calm down.

"Honey, I think you are probably exaggerating. Calm down, everything is okay. Do we need to take you to a counselor? Are you taking drugs?"

When my friends were having sex, cheating or even when they admitted they were suicidal or that they were being sexually molested by someone... I would do just what everyone now says to do... I told someone... teachers, pastors, parents and basically nothing was ever done. I was always told to "calm down" and I would be more likely to be listened to with seriousness.

So when I became actively involved in the pro-life movement and I spoke at schools, universities, on radio shows and in church, I learned to speak with clarity, rationally and with utter dispassion. I calmly presented cold, harsh facts. Some people even told me that I needed more passion or else I wouldn't be listened to.

And in the end, when I spoke with confidence and assurance and calmness, no one listened to me. For a while I blamed it on my gender and my build. I am a small female and the problem was male chauvinism. In the end, that really wasn't it. Women didn't listen either.

They were wrong about speaking with less emotion and they were wrong when they told me to speak with more emotion. 

And I figured out why. Luke 16.
A rich man clothed in purple daily feasted sumptuously. At his gate lay poor, sickly and starving Lazarus who died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. When the rich man died and went to hell, in his torment he cried out to Father Abraham, "I beg you, father, to send Lazarus to my five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment." Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'"

There's the answer.

The cold, sterile rational, unemotional written law could not convince the rich man's brothers. Theatrics, high drama, hysterics, even the miracle of raising someone from the dead cannot open the eyes and ears of those who do not wish to see or understand.

Jesus himself, telling this parable, understood all to well when His own disciples failed to comprehend who he was and the miracles He performed.

The Holy Spirit needs to have made a crack in someone's heart and mind. And then, what I have discovered, is that it doesn't matter if you are hysterical, emotional or clumsy with words or nerdy with your dispassionate dissertation of the facts. If the person wants to hear it, they will. The Holy Spirit will interpret the message in the hearer's heart.

God uses all of us, no matter how we say it to reach those who are yearning for truth. Pray for the Holy Spirit and then say it the best way you can and leave the rest to God. Some of the seed will fall on healthy soil, some will fall on hard soil and rarely will you get to stick around and watch the growth. Speak it with love, act it with love and then lift it up to God as a sacrifice to Him and He will turn it into what He wants it to be for His glory.

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