My doctor told me that I would need to carefully describe my symptoms because, he said, “I cannot feel your pain.”   He listened attentively to the story of my symptoms.  I felt that I had been heard.  After which, he stated my options.  So much of our well intentioned “witnessing” and “discipleship” falls flat because we have never heard the other person at any reasonable depth.  Until we have listened, no one has a desire to hear us.

“You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak…” James 1:19 (NRSV).