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In all their suffering he also suffered (Isaiah 63:9; NLT).


1. I’m neither strong,
Nor energetic.

2. There’s very little
I can do for others.

3. But I can listen patiently,
Offering love and comfort,

4. Sharing the load
Of those I meet

5. Who struggle with life’s
Burdens, trials, and sorrows.


1,2. He knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust (Psalm 103:14; NLT).

3. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NRSV).

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12:9; NLT).

[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble (2 Corinthians 1:4; NIV).

4. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles (Matthew 5:4; NLT).

As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus (Luke 23:26; NLT).

Mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15; NRSV).

5. Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30; NLT).

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

18 thoughts on “Listening

  • I can testify to this! I could try the patience of a saint, but Ruth has shown me nothing except patience. 😊 xxx

  • Well, whatever the situation, knowing you, I’m sure you thought long and hard about it and did what you could. As your poem says, often all we can do is listen and offer comfort … and most times, that’s best of all. xxx

  • After thinking about this, I’ve come back to it. I don’t think you have ‘failed’ at all. I’m only going by the details here in this post and replies, but if you weren’t able to offer what the person wanted and they didn’t want what you were able to offer, then I don’t see that as a failure. xxx

    • That made me smile. You’re absolutely right, of course, and I don’t usually repine for too long after seeing this person, though I do have a clear awareness of how long I need in order to recover from spending time with her, before I can visit her again (this can take two weeks, or more). She hasn’t ever responded to any kind of encouragement or help (not just from me, but others too). The secret is that there is nothing at all I can do to get through to her or in any way help her to help herself. As long as I’m completely clear about this, I can usually cope with her fairly well XXXXXX

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