By David Zehr, a sophomore at Goshen College
Reprinted from Lenten Devotions
I rewrote this devotion twice because I just couldn’t seem to get to the heart of what I thought about it. I have a lot of issues with the ethic, which I see around me concerning how to “tell” people what we think. Opinions are rampant, avenues for message dissemination are plentiful, and the emphasis on the value of face-to-face conversation seems to be as invisible as sunshine has been this past winter. Why meet over a meal when signing a letter takes so much less time?
When I look deeper at this theme of “Go and tell,” it becomes apparent to me that it is more than simply a call to speak. It is an invitation to community and relationship. Around me I hear the cacophonous chorus of the entire world all talking at once and no one stopping to listen. This Lenten theme is not meant for us to add to the senseless drivel. Rather, to “Go and tell” is a call to intentionally orient our lives around that which truly matters.
One way to do this is to analyze how we act. I’ve appreciated the faith community I’ve grown up in for “stepping to their own beat,” instead of just taking cues from the outside world. As many around us seem to be more concerned with what they themselves are saying than what those around them are saying, I’m left with this observation: When we learn to listen to those we care for, we tell far more to them than if we are simply speaking. Perhaps faithfully stepping to our own collective beat in this day and age will require less focus on what we are saying or not saying, and more focus on whether we are listening or not listening.