Guest Contributor
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Saturday, February 27

Contributed by Stephen Roche


Psalm 22:23-31

“For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”

I would often come home from a workday, filled with me listening to my
colleagues and having to make decisions. My wife Fiona and I would
reconnect as the sun set and she would share with me news of our children,
her work and news from her family in Scotland. She would often have to stop
me and in an exasperated tone say, “I don’t want you to offer solutions, I need
you to just listen.”
Perhaps the greatest skill we can possibly possess is to actually listen to our
family, our brothers and sisters in Christ and the people we work with each
day.
Our God listens to us. Jesus hears us when we cry out to him because of our
afflictions, grief, or pain from illness. But he also listens to us when we are
celebrating, when we are filled with joy. We are told in scripture that he listens
with joy when we worship and praise him.
Validation. It is a buzz word in the therapy world. Therapists tell us that a huge
part of their job, when they are listening to their patients, is to validate their
feelings.
The Holy Spirit listens and understands us when we can barely form the
words to say what we are going through, when our minds and emotions are
reeling from what we are experiencing. We are validated.

Our Lord and God listen to us this day, hear us even when we can barely utter
the words, may we feel your presence beside us and know you understand.
Amen.

Stephen Roche retired as the Chief Financial Officer of The Presbyterian Church in Canada
and is a member of the St. Andrew’s Hall Board.