It is encouraing to me that the first fruit of the Spirit in Galations 5:22-23 is love. People are desperately in need of a loving smile and a kind word. Part of the famous prayer of St. Francis of Assisi says:
"Lord, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love."
To console, understand and love someone well you really have to listen. You won’t console, understand or love someone you are not willing to listen to. You might frustrate them and annoy them, but you won’t be loving.
It takes daily choices – often minute by minute choices — on my part to remember this experience called life is not all about me.
When I really feel heard, I really feel loved.