“The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear… to listen like a disciple.” (Isaiah 50:4-5)
When Isaiah wrote this passage, the Jewish people had grown weary of their years of exile in a foreign land, weary of talk and depressed about their predicament and what to do about it. Where was God? Why so much suffering?
Isaiah understood their sadness, their worries and their longings for a “new exodus” and a better future. He knew he had been called as a prophet to speak for God and to be a leader for his people. But what should he say, and what should he do? How should he go about it? Interestingly, he began each day, morning after morning, with prayer, listening like a disciple, and said, “The Lord God opens my ear that I may hear.” From his time at prayer he was able to have a “well-trained tongue” and know what to say to his exhausted people.
Not long ago my friend was hospitalized with serious medical problems, considerable pain and much anxiety about his future. I stayed with him as medical professionals came into his room. A certified nursing assistant (CAN) came to take his blood pressure. Her quiet self-assurance and few words of friendliness were calming. The nurse came, gave him an overview of his next procedures, answered his questions and asked if there was anything else she could do for him. Her whole manner spoke competence, “I will take care of you, I am here for you.” The physician came, and he seemed unhurried. He listened calmly, provided answers and options, which included tough ones. Something about him spoke, “We will get you through this.” The CNA, nurse and physician, through presence and word, indeed knew how to speak to the weary. My friend grew calmer.
Like Isaiah, we also have many opportunities to speak a word to the weary, particularly in the health care profession. May it be that morning after morning our ears are opened like a disciple’s to hear and live the Lord’s word and communicate it to those with whom we live and work!
Sr. Francene Evans
Presentation Sisters Leadership Team,