My wife and I started watching the second season of Parenthood. Zeke Braverman, the patriarch of the family and played by Craig T. Nelson, has a slight change of heart. The boisterous and confrontational man becomes more aware of his family’s reaction to him. In the middle of a conversation which could escalate, he stops and says, “I hear you, I see you.”

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There’re people in our lives we would love to hear us say those words. On the other hand, how many people would love to hear us say those words to them?

Learning to listen to others has been an area of growth for me. When people begin to share a part of their life, their mostly looking to have a space to be heard. Instead, sometimes we…
Interrupt them with a question or even or own thought.
Challenge them on a minor point.
Formulate our response before they have completed their thought.
Fill the silence without thoughts as opposed to letting them process.

The challenge of listening goes even deeper for us personally, but also within community and small groups. We can miss a person moment of authenticity. Rather than acknowledging, “I hear, I see you,” we jump to the next question or conversation topic. Other times we insert a story about ourselves.

The Gospel points us to Jesus, who embodies “I hear you, I see you.” It was not merely lip service, but we see this in Him each time He stops for the children, the blind, those with questions, and those rejected in society. Hebrews 2:14-18 speaks of how Christ identifies with humanity so that we can pray to Him who understand us. Christ’s grace invites us to be seen and heard.

When we have experienced Christ’s grace in our lives, it moves us acknowledge and offer to others, “I hear you, I see you.”

Who in your life today do you have the opportunity to live out, “I hear you, I see you”? How can you better listen to others today?

Photo credit by Anthony Delanoix.