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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson

Listen to Him!

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased. Listen to him!”

Matthew 17:5*

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Where do I even begin? This journey. This moment in time. God in our history. God in our story. This story of so much good and evil. This story of ongoing redemption. Ultimate…hoped for…restoration.

Listen to Him!


I am listening!

Lately this is all I can do. Because I am a gal who likes to learn and think and figure things out. But sometimes there is just no way to figure it out except to listen.

Like Samuel. The boy conceived in prayer and given back to the Lord by his faithful mother.

Once again, for the third time, the Lord called Samuel.

Three times. Of course. Three times.

And finally…

The Lord came, stood there, and called as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel responded, “Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:8 & 10).

I am listening.

Peter, James, and John—invited to the mountain. The place where heaven meets earth in a vision of glory and mere men have no idea what they are beholding. But Peter. Of course it’s Peter who scrambles for some sort of response…

Shelters. We’ll build shelters. One for Moses. One for Elijah. And one for our teacher…something holy…something…


Full stop.

Just. Listen.

This is my beloved Son…

Listen. To. Him.

Okay, I’m listening.

Weeks ago. I’m not sure how long it’s been. I was grappling with a theological question. An important question. Quite relevant for my own journey. My own vocation. A woman. Holy Spirit gift of teaching.

I grappled with the question and I weighed the opinions of theologians and my own people. Strong opinions. And I wondered if my indecision had more to do with my fear of conflict than holy reason. But I did my best to study and learn and then in the midst of my rumination I heard these words in my spirit and I knew it was HIM:

“Stop trying to figure it out. Let me show you what to do.”

Listen to him.

Okay. I’m listening.

Which is when I heard Him again.

I began to wonder. Maybe it is not a matter of one or the other. Maybe it is something else altogether. Maybe—

The way of Jesus is SOMETHING ELSE.

Okay. I’m seeing something. The answer to our ongoing division. Our polarization. Arguments leading us further apart…a Body fractured…a family divided…

I stumble upon a book. Yes. The One who knit me together in my mother’s womb speaks my God-given language. He gives me a book. A book that confirms this intuition. This sense that it is neither, but something else…

The way of Jesus.

We are asking the wrong questions. The author says this. We want to know who is right. And who has rights. We want to know who is in charge. Who has authority and power. We want to know who wins.


I hear Him again. Through the Spirit…through the words of a book…

He calls us to DIE.

Die to self.

He tells me this.

And I know it is true. The way of Jesus is something else altogether. The way of Jesus is the way of reversals.

The first will be last; the last will be first.

Like a child.

A servant of all.

Pick up the towel.

Lay down your life.


He calls us to die…and then gives us life!

I am Mary, Martha's sister. Mary on bended knee. Mary who poured everything out on Jesus' feet. Mary who did the one thing needed.

I listen.

While they were traveling, he entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.”

The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).

*Christian Standard Bible (CSB) throughout

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