(Active) Listening to Part Of Me


A Few Moments with KnowsMore

Ernest: Hi KnowsMore

KnowsMore: Hi Ernie

E. Thank you for doing this. Ready to begin?

K. Sure. Always happy to answer questions!

E. Okay. The goal is for you to reflect on my question, write down your thoughts, then summarize your response in a word or phrase. I do the same, and we repeat for the other questions.

K. I can do that.

E. Great. First question: what is one thing that, if God gave it to you, would be enough for you to die happy?

What is one thing that, if God gave it to you, would be enough for you to die happy?

E. Okay, what’s your answer?

K. Being heard

E. Cool. Mine is: a world where my family is setup to experience the fulness of God’s love.

K. That won’t work!

E. I’m sorry, what?

K. You can’t just die and leave your family to fend for themselves.

E. Um, I think I’m having a Moment. Can you give me a Moment?

K. Sure.

E. Thanks. Sorry I wasn’t clear: the goal for this first part is to just listen to each other’s answers, asking clarifying questions if necessary. Please hold off on any disagreement or discussion until the next phrase. I do encourage you to write down any reactions you have, and ask for a Moment if you need one.

K. Ah, sorry. Got it.

E. No problem. Okay, here’s the next question: what makes it hard to believe God might give that to you?

What makes it hard to believe God might give that to you?

K. That’s a stupid question!

E. … Um, do you need a Moment?

K. No! I can’t believe you would ask such a question.

E. Er… would you mind if I took a Moment?

K. What? Oh. Right. Sure. Knock yourself out.

E. Thank you. Is there something you are trying to say to me that I might not be hearing?

K. No. I’m fine.

E. So… are you okay with me asking the second question again?

K. Um, I guess.

E. … Okay. Let me try phrasing it differently: what might get in the way of you receiving that?

K. Receiving what?

E. Your answer to the first question: Being Heard.

K. Oh, right. Well, I think…

E. Actually, would you mind waiting? I want to journal my answer first, so I can be fully focused on listening to you.

K. What? Oh, right. Sure, whatever.

E. Thank you

E. Okay, done. Is it okay if I go first?

K. Um, yeah. Sure.

E. Thanks. So, I think there are certain things God has called me to do in order to provide for my family. Gifts I can give them, burdens I can bear, contexts I can create. If I do those “right” my children will become redeemers who can help others experience Jesus. If I fail, someone else would need to redeem them, which may or may not happen.

K. Wait, what? Is that really true?

E. Huh? I don’t know. For now, we are just sharing our answers. We will evaluate afterwards. Remember?

K. Oh yeah, right.

E. So, did you write down your answer to the second question?

K. Um, no, but I think I remember.

E. Great. So?

K. Um, what was the question again?

E. [getting a little frustrated] What might prevent you from being heard?

K. That! That right there!

E. I beg your pardon?

K. That thing you do. The thing you always do to me. Pretending like you’re listening. Pretending like you care. When all along, I know that nothing I can say will ever be good enough.


K. Well?

E. I’m sorry.

K. “I’m sorry?” Is that all you have to say for yourself?

E. What do you want me to say?

K. There you go again, always trying to put things back on me! Didn’t you ever stop to think that maybe you are the problem? Maybe if you spent more time trying to fix yourself, instead of fixing other people, you wouldn’t be in this mess.

E. Thank you.

K. What?

E. I said thank you. I appreciate your willingness to share. You have given me a lot to think about.

K. Um… you’re welcome. I guess.

E. Would you… may I try to summarize what I thought I heard you say, to see if I got it correctly?

K. Um, I suppose so.

E. Thank you. Well, the first thing I got is that you are frustrated by how I treat you.

K. Nice deduction, Sherlock!

E. … In particular, there is something that I do… that I have always done… that leaves you feeling unheard. Is that right?

K. Uh, yeah.

E. Thank you. The second thing, which may be related to the first, is that it seems like I am always trying to fix you.

K. And other people!

E. And other people.

K. Yes, exactly!

E. Excellent, thank you. I’m a little less clear on the third point. It sounded like you felt that if I spent more time working on my own happiness, I wouldn’t have this compulsion to fix other people. Did I get that right?

K. … I’m not sure. I don’t think I used those words. But yeah. I guess I did mean something like that.

E. Wonderful. That is extremely helpful. Thank you.

K. You’re welcome. Thanks for listening.

E. My pleasure. I’m afraid that’s all I can recall. Was there anything else you wanted to tell me?

K. … I don’t think so.

E. Is it okay if I summarize, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything?

K. If you must.

E. Thanks. To summarize:

  1. You are frustrated by how I treat you
  2. I always seem to be trying to fix you, and other people
  3. Focusing on my own happiness might help me stop doing that

E. Does that sound about right? Anything else you’d like to add?

K. No, I think I’m good

E. So… did you feel heard?

K. … Yeah. Yeah, I think I did.

E. I’m glad. Thank you, KnowsMore.

K. Thank you, Ernie.


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