An epiphany of listening

This sitka spruce on Rialto Beach s not a star, but it could lead you to Christ. It's part of Gordon Hempton's story.

This sitka spruce on Rialto Beach s not a star, but it could lead you to Christ. It’s part of Gordon Hempton’s story.

“I grew up thinking that I was a listener, except on my way to graduate school one time, I simply pulled over making the long drive from Seattle, Washington, to Madison, Wisconsin, pulled over in a field to get some rest and a thunderstorm rolled over me. While I lay there and the thunder echoed through the valley and I could hear the crickets, I just simply took it all in. And it’s then I realized that I had a whole wrong impression of what it meant to actually listen. I thought that listening meant focusing my attention on what was important even before I had heard it and screening out everything that was unimportant even before I had heard it.” Gordon Hempton, as heard on the On Being – The Last Quiet Places podcast

Gordon Hempton is an acoustic ecologist. What on earth is that? He is trying to conserve a natural resource that is rapidly diminishing without notice. He conserves quiet. Quiet places don’t mean silent, they mean quiet. There is probably no place on earth that is completely quiet, no matter how it may seem to us.

Recently my family and I were in a restaurant. It was Continue reading

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