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God, are you Listening?

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34: 15-18 NIV).

I came across a photo of Angela Davis and Toni Morrison walking together on a city street, which was taken in the 1970s. Ms. Morrison was dressed in a long duster, a blouse, and wide-legged pants while carrying her scarf, jacket, and pocketbook under one arm. Her attention was focused on Angela Davis, who stood tall and erect with her eyes downcast and hands folded across her stomach. She carried a small purse and appeared hesitant, possibly unsure. It seemed like two friends were communing with one another, with Ms. Morrison appearing concerned about Ms. Davis. I almost imagined Ms. Morrison asking, "Girl, are you okay?”

Angela Davis left, and Toni Morrison in New York City in 1974.Credit...Jill Krementz, all rights reserved

Looking at the picture, I was surprised to learn that these women were friends. They seemed like an unlikely match. One was a civil rights leader, the other an esteemed author working in corporate America for a publishing house. I later discovered that Toni Morrison was employed at Random House and had mentored Angela Davis, helping her get published with the prestigious publisher. This was significant because it can be difficult for minorities, especially those with controversial views like Davis, to get picked up by mainstream publishers. Their relationship was powerful then and still is today in what it represents.

In comparison, I pondered my relationship with Jesus Christ. We are an unlikely match. But like the picture depicted, we similarly walk together nonetheless. God carries, the more significant load. I barely manage my lighter weight. He gently nudges me. “Vonyee, are you okay?” God often asks. I usually hesitate, thinking, “I can’t tell God, what’s really going on. He’ll probably think less of me.”

But Jesus always waits patiently for our answers. He remains even if we struggle to share what’s causing us to hold back. When reflecting on one of my favorite Bible passages, Psalm 34:15-18, I can picture God gazing at me, at us, as Toni Morrison looks at Angela Davis. Amid our burdens, uncertainty, and battles, God hears our anguish, our cries for help. He delivers us from our troubles. God stands with us. He delivers us, and he listens to what we have to say.

If you ever wonder if God is listening, the answer is “yes.” God promises several times in the Bible that he’s listening to our cries. Check out Psalm 34:4,15, 17; Psalm 40:1; and Psalm 90:15-16. Not only is God listening, but he also promises to deliver us.

Together, let’s take a lesson from the photo of Morrison mentoring Davis. We can talk to Jesus, our heavenly mentor, because he hears and speaks.
But are we truly listening?


Prayer: Lord Jesus, in the busyness of life, please show me how to hear your voice and be led by your wisdom consistently. Allow me to feel your comfort and love. As I share my burdens and allow you to mentor and teach me, show me how to listen to you. Amen.

Your Turn: Do you need a listening ear? What are you ashamed to share with your friends and family? Have there been times when it’s been challenging to hear from God? Are there times when you feel God isn’t listening? Why is that? Do you have examples of times when God spoke to you? If so, describe this.

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