Psychotherapy taught me the power of listening.’ I was at my first session, (it had taken me six weeks to work up the courage to talk to him!) and I became aware of a new sensation – a feeling of safety – this person was present in a way that I had never experienced – present in a way that made me feel safe and secure. He held a space for me where healing could begin – he was exercising what I now know as ‘the ministry of listening’.
The difference was that he was really present – he reflected what I said, sat forward, focussed on me. And I knew he was listening and not just hearing – and there is a difference – hearing is something passive – our ears are always on – we can’t switch them off. Listening on the other hand is active, requiring effort – it is powerful in its transforming ability.
Listening is a ministry we can all engage in no matter what age and there is no need for further study or ordination, though training makes a difference my mother and I both agree!