Listening has been described as an art, but it may be more a question of attitude. After a reconciliation occurred, someone observed, “They are listening now to the words, not to who is saying them.”
Paul was an unlikely candidate to be listened to by Lydia, a Gentile and a businessperson. She was part of the elite in a society where, like today, the wealthy were only a small fraction of the population.
What is it that opens hearts when minds seem closed?
The Lord, working through the Holy Spirit, is the key to freeing us. Folks know genuine love and grace when they see it. The poor may be seen to have an advantage here, given their great need. But all of God’s children run a love deficit that only Christ’s gracious love can fill.
Lord, open my heart again and again to your love. Give me the good news to blot out all the bad. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Amen. — EB