Becoming Real Listeners

april 28

I literally just had this conversation with my son: “Mom, I’m still hungry, what is there to eat?”

“Well, we have cashews, and behind them are granola bars which you could also have.”

“Can I have a granola bar?”

I almost feel like Jesus might have felt, when he said, “I TOLD YOU . . . ” (maybe He was more patient than I feel when I am asked a question I just answered . . . but still. I can almost relate to Our Lord.)

I have conversations like this daily with my kids. “I just told you . . . . Did you hear what I said? . . . . What words just came out of my mouth?”

And here is Jesus, having the same sort of conversation with the Jews. “Jesus, just tell us!” they cry. And He responds, “I did tell you! You don’t believe!” How frustrating it must have been for the Christ to tell people over and over, and still have them asking Him to tell them. He was in the flesh, in their midst, telling them about Himself, and they still don’t believe.

Do we believe? It has been a few weeks since we celebrated the Resurrection. We’ve heard the readings. We’ve been told. Yet . . . how often are still asking the tiring question, “Lord, just show me your face. Tell me. Show me.” Are we asking in faith, for an increase in our faith? Or are we asking because, like the Jews, we aren’t really listening and aren’t really seeing?

I often joke that I wish God would hand me a manual and timeline for my life, so I could see what His will is for me. Or that there was a handbook to go with my children so I’d know how to parent them. “Just show me, God. Just TELL ME. It would be so much easier.” But He does show me, and tell me. Every day, in the Scriptures, He shows me and tells me. It’s not as detailed to my life as, “Today on April 28 you will have a crucial conversation with your husband about school choices and job decisions. When you do, ‘xyz’ is the better choice to make.” However, what God is telling me and showing me is that He LOVES ME. He loves you. And all He asks in return is that we, in faith, trust Him and love Him back. It sure would be nice to have other details, but they aren’t what is necessary to believe and trust in God’s plan. When we trust God, we know His plans are going to sustain us, because He loves us. We can trust Him because of the works that bear witness to Christ, as He says, in His Father’s name.

What works? We have the Eucharist, Christ in the flesh. We have the smile of a child to brighten our day. A phone call from a friend at precisely the right moment. An answered prayer. The providence of money just when a bill is looming. The help of a stranger when our car breaks down. Any of these little miracles and huge miracles are the works of Christ, to show us, so we may believe.

Jesus tells me, daily. Am I listening? Do I believe? And if I profess to believe, am I following Him into eternal life, by trusting and loving Him? Listen. Believe. Jesus tells us plainly every day how much He loves us.

Gina Fensterer is a wife, daughter, mother, friend, homeschooling mama and Colorado native. You can find out more about her here.

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