Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great …
— Deuteronomy 1:17
An evolved soul judges no one, condemns no one, but realizes that all are on the road of experience …
— The Science of Mind, page 434
Listen to Understand and Not to Respond!
When I was growing up, we were not allowed to tell anyone, “SHUT UP!” It was considered swearing. To this day, when I hear someone talking like that to another person, I wince.
Lately, my inner voice has begun using those words silently to me. I have known intellectually the value of totally listening, but as a ministerial counselor, I still get tempted to tell my clients that I have had a similar experience and share with them how I handled it.
Recently, one of my clients was telling me of his time in prison, and the violence he had experienced in his life, including committing a murder in self defense! I was deeply moved by what he was telling me and was tempted several times to interrupt, but each time I was going to do that, a voice inside my head said in no uncertain terms, “Rainbow, shut up!” That certainly got my attention and I remained actively silent until the next interruption temptation reared its little head. “Rainbow, SHUT UP!” the voice repeated a little louder. Since I am a slow learner, it took several more occasions until I finally got the picture. It turned out I didn’t say anything during the entire session. I just listened. At the end of the hour, my client said, “Rev. Rainbow, you have helped me so much! I never have told anyone about those things! Can I have a hug?!?”
Today, I listen nonjudgmentally to those who speak to me. I know deep within my heart I am giving them the greatest gift of all — the gift of hearing with my soul.