Today’s Lenten Word Meditation comes from Psalm 5 NRSV:
1 Give ear to my words, O LORD;
give heed to my sighing.
2 Listen to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
3 O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil will not sojourn with you.
5 The boastful will not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evildoers.
6 You destroy those who speak lies;
the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful.
7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house,
I will bow down toward your holy temple
in awe of you.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.
9 For there is no truth in their mouths;
their hearts are destruction;
their throats are open graves;
they flatter with their tongues.
10 Make them bear their guilt, O God;
let them fall by their own counsels;
because of their many transgressions cast them out,
for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
so that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O LORD;
you cover them with favor as with a shield.The world, listen (qshv in Hebrew) is defined as to attend, of ears, incline. Psalm 5 is a prayer of supplication to God as the person is in anguish and asking God to listen.
Today I sit, hold, and pray with the word, listen. When I was trained to be a hospital chaplain, we were pushed to refine our listening skills as we worked patients, staff, one another, and ourselves. One important training exercise for me was working with subacute patients. These were patients that were in a coma or in a state that needed constant monitoring and care. Every morning I would stop by a certain comatose patient and hold her hand and talk to her. (The nurses told me from the start of my rotation that the patient liked when the staff held her hand.) She didn’t speak back, but she communicated in other ways like heart beat, temperature, subtle movements, and groans. I realized that I had to “listen” in other ways. When my last day came, I held her hand and told her that my program was ending. There was a sad feeling that I felt emanating from her. She then held my hand tightly and the feeling of thankfulness came. I was blessed.
In what other ways, do you listen?