Extreme attentiveness

Roxie attending the local wildlife

I have just finished my quiet time and am full of peace and joy today. It’s partly due to relief of stress–our taxes are finished and we’ve figured out how to pay for them–but it’s also due to a real encounter with the Lord. A simple reading of his word, taking it in and enjoying the fullness of it.

I am about to take Roxie for her walk. I originally thought that walking Roxie would provide times of reflection, a place to ruminate on what the Lord is doing. Not so. She is still a pup, and requires much attention:

Roxie, you cannot chase that squirrel.
Roxie, don’t pull.
Roxie, that corn is for the squirrels.
Roxie, OFF.
Roxie, let’s go.
Roxie, stay.
Roxie, QUIET!

At first I found this constant feedback to Roxie frustrating. But now I am beginning to see it as a form of extreme attentiveness to the present, to another. If I do not attend to her at every single moment, she will get away from me, pull the leash in a way that hurts me or eat something that’s not good for her. Our morning walks allow me to practice attending to her in a way that translates to attending to the people I sit with who need spiritual care or counsel, who need to be asked:

How are things with you and the Lord?
I’m noticing you seem to be resisting these circumstances. Can you talk about that?
Is what you’re doing is good for you?
It sound to me like the Lord is urging you to go with him into this.
Can you stay in this place with the Lord?
Why don’t we be quiet together and see if you can hear from the Lord?

Lord, help me today to be attentive and compassionate to all who cross my path. Teach me again to better listen to you, and to them, and you in them all at the same time. Amen.

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One thought on “Extreme attentiveness

  1. trynsimple

    So, so good, Lisa, for my mom-soul. As it is, I would venture to say, for anyone living in community of some fashion: friends, spouses, roommates, parents, pets, coworkers. Thank you.

    Reply

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