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Can't Listen to God Without Listening to People

The Christian psychiatrist Paul Tournier has made it his life to listen to people. He takes an interest in them, sits down and hears what's troubling them. And he wrote in one of his books about some people: "Suddenly [they] break off, as if astonished at [themselves]. 'I don't know why I tell you all this: I've never told anyone else. I never thought I should be able to tell anyone.' Then the person adds, looking me in the eyes: 'What a relief it is to get it all off one's chest'" [Paul Tournier, The Meaning of Persons (London: SCM Press, 1968), 136].

Many people desperately search for an ear that will listen. Sometimes, sadly, they do not find the ear they need among Christians because these Christians are talking when they should be listening! But if we can no longer listen to our sisters and brothers, we will soon no longer to able to listen to God.

- Donald McKim, "The Ministry of Listening," Gathering Voices blog