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Listening and Hearing

The Very Rev Dr John Chalmers highlights the importance of transformative active listening.

IF there is such a thing as holy silence then her twin sister must be holy listening.

If the practice of silence is a gateway to the presence of God, so too, in my experience, is the power of the listening ear. But in a culture of so much noise and of so many different voices how should we listen? G K Chesterton reminded us that “there’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing” and it is a sad indictment on the way in which we hold our conversations that most often as we listen to others, our minds race off to recollections of similar stories and all we are doing is waiting for the other person to finish talking so that we can top their story with a better one. There is a place for that kind of conversation – one story leads to another, each person learns something about the other and acquaintance deepens. This, however, is not the kind of listening that I have in mind.

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About Life and Work

In this month's issue: THE SAINTS OF SCOTLAND - The saintly people who shaped Scotland FAITH INTO ACTION - The outgoing chair of CHAS –a Church of Scotland elder A FRESH STATEMENT OF FAITH? - A need to review the role of the Westminster Confession of Faith and much much more...