SPIRIT AT WORK is a group web journal on which members and friends of St.
Aidan's Episcopal Church publish personal stories, parish history, spiritual reflections, and life journeys.
All parish members, friends, and friends of friends, are welcome to create and publish as many stories and pictures as they wish. Contact Don Casella or Kirstin Paisley for information.
Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of sitting with my grandmother Keet at her table in the kitchen of her Tulsa home.
There was always something good to eat—pound cake with homemade butter or tomatoes from my grandfather's garden-- but even more special was a quality of attentiveness that she possessed.
As she listened to my chatting about this and that, she acted as if being with me were the most important thing she could be doing at the time. Such responsiveness is rare in our culture where we talk too much and listen too little.
We all know how minimizing it is to try to share something with someone who is half-distracted, too busy or just waiting until they can get their point out.
Contrastingly, how affirming it is to be with one who attends fully and respectfully to what we are saying.
The healing dimensions of being listened to are significant.
Those suffering from loss or recovering from woundedness need to tell their story again and again, re-entering it, piecing together the fragments of memory.
In the sacred presence of a witness, a companion who truly listens, isolation is diminished and connection to the human community is restored.
Often it’s not really as much what we say in such times as a quality of caring presence. Rachel Naomi Remen suggests, “Listening creates a holy silence.