11 July, Sunday — On deaf ears

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Amo 7:12-15
Mk 6:7-13

“Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”

It always happens to those who start dispensing advice, no matter how good the intentions are. At some point, this question will be thrown back at you, “Who are you to…?” And no matter how polite the other party tries to sound, we feel hurt, aggrieved, sometimes even downright angry. “Look, I am only trying to help…but if you want to be stubborn or remain in denial, then, fine!” <Cue: stomping off>

Faced with such a situation at work last month, I decided that instead of harping on the obvious with someone who had decided to resign, it would make things a lot better if I were to focus on the road ahead, and to just turn a deaf ear to the insinuation that I was ‘uncomfortable at having the boat rocked’. It always happens…just when you think things are settling down, the proverbial boat gets rocked. As they say, “When it rains, it pours.”

As God would have it, as I retreated into the quiet of my heart, He began to speak to me in His tender, loving, fatherly way. His message to me came in many forms — a quiet few hours lying on a sofa, a simple meal with my significant other, a time of sharing with my music ministry. In a nutshell, He spoke to me to ‘prophesy’ through my actions (or rather, my inaction) and to trust in Him. I really felt like I was one of the disciples, having to ‘shake off the dust from under my feet’ because others were refusing to listen to me.

Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.

Brothers and sisters, when all around us no one is bothering to give us a listening ear, or when our pleas are falling on deaf ears, perhaps it is time for us to take stock and give God our own ears; so that He can speak to us and IN us. Indeed, before we go out and prophesy to others, we need to be open to His words and be prophesied TO. For without input, there is certainly no worthy output.

Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life.

Through various trials over the years, I have found that seeking counsel in the words of our heavenly Father is the only way to get through difficult situations. After all, if we proclaim that His words give us eternal life, surely then as his sons and daughters, we should seek comfort in them — whether in written form, or even in song (which has a way of stirring hearts and opening them to listen). Sure, we have our spouses, well-meaning friends and even confidantes at work. But ultimately, it is our Father in heaven who knows the way forward and it is in His Word that we are saved.      

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: Abba Father, give us the strength to remain silent in your presence, so that we may learn how to fill our hearts with your words and to empower us with your wisdom.

Thanksgiving: Dear Lord, we thank you for always speaking to us in your caring, loving way.


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