In Featured, Pastor Paul's Blog

By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘LISTENING’ as in… deep listening is an art form.

Deep, intentional, purposeful listening was modeled for me several years ago in a way that continues to help me reframe how I want to listen to others. As we work at this, beginning with ourselves, we’ll discover our lives and relationships thriving in ways that enrich the gift of each present moment.

I began to understand this when I first met Eugene Peterson [Message Bible] in 2012. I was writing a book, and Eugene agreed to talk about it and give me some input. I arrived at his home with a full page of questions, and as we sat together, I began working my way down from the top of the page. Each question for Eugene was a launching point into places I never could have imagined. What impressed me was how remarkably intentional Eugene was with his responses, how purposeful he was with our conversation, and how completely present he was in those moments.

With each question, Eugene sat quietly looking at me, listening to me, studying me as my words floated up into the air between us, waiting for a place to land. He seemed to be listening long after I finished asking a question. A couple of times, I wondered if Eugene had heard me. But then, just as I was about to give in to the urge to interrupt his listening silence, he would gently draw in a breath and respond. Eugene did this again and again: I’d ask a question, and Eugene would dwell in it, savor it, and then we’d talk. What a gift. I felt so listened to. I felt so honored, so heard, and understood.

Thriving Reflections:

++ How would you describe the difference between ‘hearing’ and ‘listening’?

++ When have you been really listened to?

++ Who models this well for you?

++ Who could you do that for today?

++ What part of the art form of deep listening would you want to develop in your life?

++ How does listening at this deeper level help you thrive?



Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #Thriv’ëra project, where he blogs about a different word each week. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or his blog, Thriving Rhythms.


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