The {lost} Art of Listening To A Wounded Body


Any artist knows in following the passionate drive there is also the learning too. No one gets good at anything without some practice. And how can we learn, if not by listening? When we find ourselves outside the clamoring city noise, we hear the quiet. We adjust our ears to silence and we are almost overcome by our discomfort of it.

But then we breathe. In the silence, for once, we can think. The reclining patio furniture invites us to stretch under a light so bright we have to close our eyes on the back porch with miles and miles of nowhere around us. We take our wearied soul and watch a Blue Jay bully the Finches in this bird society of pecking orders. Then we hear a melody of the wind chiming through trees and we find ourselves listening to our lives.

Yet, there is nothing simple about getting outside the city gates. For many, it was a series of unfortunate events which lead us here. But we are not attempting a slide show presentation outlining every bullet point, with a blow by blow outline. But if someone where to ask us how it feels? This we can do.

If there’s one thing we know about the big city of this Body called Christ, it’s noise, abandonment, badgering, isolation, and shoving. I understand the passions behind it. I empathize with deep sincerity that someone’s doctrine is important that it must be fought tooth and nail. To them, this is critical medicine so they feel we must swallow every spoonful whether or not we like it.

But I testify–I’ve born witness to the lost art of listening. We can be reduced to science projects while others practice theories and methods on each other. Once the art is all-together lost, we become ruthless gangs, prone to violence with initiations and proving we’re “in”, thick as thieves. There is turf to defend, war zones, and battle fields. Knives and daggers sharp as a sword fashioned with words. We slip a note to our arch enemy Doctrine like a school boy with, “Meet me afterschool, so I can beat you up.”

But we have our limits. We can only witness so much bloodshed before we defect and look for the wounded. Nobody escapes war without some injury whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual. We have counted the cost.

And maybe that makes lepers since we are prone to feeling shriveled up in the wilderness. Because we didn’t prance and yodel our way outside the big populace, like we were on some joy ride. Even though some may have forsaken buildings, this does not mean they have forsaken the fellowship. Perhaps, they are starting from scratch on the Corner stone and right now their faith is looking more like a rustic cabin than an Empire State building. But they’re building something out there. They’re also learning that pain can humble you, if you don’t let the anger bite you.

Jesus said we will hear of wars and rumors of wars. But we are not to be troubled because these things must come to pass. And I know Jesus was talking about earthly kingdoms, but a man’s heart can be lead anywhere the man leads it, including His kingdom.

Perhaps our ears need an awakening.

Over the weekend, Amber Haines posted this on Facebook, “There are secret messages all over the place ‘to you who are listening.'”

Consider this a not so secret message: we will be listening artisans. Perhaps we are leaning over in our chair on two legs about to fall over backwards from straining to hear, but our ears are ready.

“The Lord God has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned.
The Lord God has opened My ear…” Isaiah 50:4,5 NKJ

We desire to be about the Father’s business. No permission is needed for moving on with Jesus. We are working with a mosaic as we stand before our blank canvases. Our paintbrushes are in hand as we tip hairy bristles in longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” We are tempering our strokes in the oil of the Spirit.

Jesus said we hear and believe. And whoever has an ear, let him hear.

Perhaps the secret of the lost art is recognizing those with ears to hear.  Artisan’s can be scattered by the war of words or theologies, doctrines, or hard-liners, but this is not the end of the story. Perhaps, it is just the beginning–for such a time as this. If there’s a Phoneix, it would rise on wings of solidary to recover the lost art of listeningWhen a community is committed to the art, masterpieces are sure to follow.

To you who are listening.


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This week’s book give away goes to Shelly of Renewed Daily! Also, Shelly rocks the encouragement department on her blog, so go check her out. Seriously ya’ll, good stuff over there. The number was randomly picked with

Now we’re off to the next book. Yay!

“Mark Buchanan encourages Christians to make heaven, literally, our ‘fixation’ — filling our vision, gripping our heart, and anchoring our hope. Only then, says Buchanan, can we become truly fearless on this earth, free from the fear of losing our life, property, status, title, or comfort; free from the threat of tyrants, the power of armies, and the day of trouble.” ~~Amazon

To Enter:

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  3. We’ll draw a name and announce it next week. We’ll contact you privately for mailing information.
  4. Thanks! We look forward to hearing your stories.


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27 Comments on “The {lost} Art of Listening To A Wounded Body”

  1. I love Mark Buchanan’s books. I was so glad to see that Shelly won the last giveaway! You are absolutely right – she rocks in the encouragement department!

  2. Tammy, this is such a beautiful post that speaks loud and clear to my spirit. As my #oneword365 this year is ‘listen’, my ears perk up at the mere mention of it and I am hungry to know more. You paint a vivid picture of the need to “listen to your life” and all it might be saying. We can hurt one another so much when we fail to listen properly to expression, soul talk and their inner silence.
    And it includes being slow to anger too. Thank you for these insightful words! Bless you 🙂 x

  3. Reblogged this on Poetry Joy and commented:
    Tammy’s thoughts on listening are so insightful and really worth sharing. She recognises it as a lost art we need to recover ( just as I hope to do with my #oneword365 being ‘listen’) and she reveals a possible way to do it.

  4. Tammy You just take my breath away! This is so very on target! And This: “But I testify–I’ve born witness to the lost art of listening. We can be reduced to science projects while others practice theories and methods on each other. Once the art is all-together lost, we become ruthless gangs” wow! Love this!

  5. That second paragraph is amazing, Tammy–loved all of it. It describes the slow evolution of my life, being “alone”. Yes, you begin to listen, see things you didnt before. Solitude, there is a somber quality to your life, in every thought and interaction, a strength that eluded before. Great story, Tammy and thank you for sharing this vision with us.

  6. “If there’s a Phoneix, it would rise on wings of solidary to recover the lost art of listening. When a community is committed to the art, masterpieces are sure to follow.” Bring on the masterpiece. Beautifully said, friend.

  7. Wow, Tammy, I relate to all this so so well. And though we leave with battle-wounds and hurts we’d rather hide, we bring them before Jesus to heal and to mend. He meets us in the leper colony and binds our wounds. In the midst of the pain, we wonder how in the world did I get here?! But, THERE, we stop long enough to LISTEN to our lives and to hear the Voice of the One who has been whispering Love messages to us all along, and we find what really matters, being close to Him. HERE, He mends us together and places us in safe places of refuge. He never leaves our side! Thank you for these words, Tammy. ❤

    • Also, Paula, I’ve found when we’ve listened long enough to the silence, then we’re ready to re-enter a wary step back into community. That’s why I think the secret is recognizing those who have an ear to hear as safe people willing to listen. 😉

  8. Listening! Yes, we need to hear and reach the hurting, and sometimes do nothing but just listen! (This coming from a chatterbox, who even while I am quiet am always chattering in my head, very hard for me to really listen! Specially hard to listen to HIM until I look up and find myself outside the gates!)

  9. Oh I want ears to hear…I want to be not a good listener, but a great listener; and not just to hear His voice- but to hear others- their wounds, heartaches, and fears…community found here!

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