I had the honour of attending a funeral for a young man named Mark Andrew Rumsby on Easter Monday. Marky lived his life with an unidentified genetic disorder. As his dad said, “he had no words, but developed a way of looking at people that transcended speech”. Marky had an incredible capacity to make people feel.
I walked away from the church tearfully longing to learn Marky’s way of communicating. Ironic I suppose that I am busy writing down these thoughts. I am so full of words. Sometimes they are helpful, sometimes they are not. Oftentimes they don’t have the effect I so desire. On Easter Sunday it got pointed out that Mary Magdalene, when greeted by Jesus himself, was so wrapped up in wanting to find the body and FIX it, that she wasn’t even aware of who she was looking at. “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” I will get him. I will fix this. All too often I am Mary.
I want to learn how to listen. I don’t mean simply to sit and listen to someone else’s words (though I want to do that well too), I mean to learn how to hear those things unspoken: unspoken pain, unspoken loneliness, unspoken regret and apology, unspoken hopes, unspoken joys. By waiting for the words I could be missing what is already being said. I need to quiet myself and attune my heart.
Maybe in the process I will become a little more like Marky.