Mary Keller passed on a reading from Dial Hope written by Rev. Joe Albright entitled “Keep an Open Heart.” Shalom Aleichem tells a delightful story about an old man standing on a crowded bus. The young man standing next to him asked him for the time of day. The old man refused to answer, and so the young man moved on. The old man’s friend, sensing something was wrong, asked, “Why were you so discourteous to the young man asking for the time?” The old man answered, “If I had given him the time of day, next he would want to know where I am going. Then we might talk about our interests. If we did that, he might invite himself to my house for dinner. If he did, he would meet my lovely daughter. If he met her, they would both fall in love. I don’t want my daughter marrying someone who can’t afford a watch.”

Joe goes on to write, “It is a funny story. And it is true: sometimes we jump to conclusions, don’t we? We make snap judgments. Once we do that, often our hearts close, and we stop listening. We may miss an opportunity to get to know someone deeper, to hear what is really on their heart and mind. Or worse, our assumptions may lead us to be judgmental. It is rarely as black and white, cut and dry as we initially think. People will often surprise us if we take the time to get to know them. In this day and age, with all the divisiveness in the world around us, my prayer is that you and I would try to be a little less judgmental. May we try to keep an open mind and heart, and listen deeply.” (Thanks Joe)

Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:1-2
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.”

Reflection Questions:
How do you keep an open mind and heart?
What helps you listen better?
How can you become a little less judgmental?

Prayer: The prayer for today was written by the late great Howard Thurman. Lord, open unto me.  Open unto me – light for my darkness. Open unto me – courage for my fear. Open unto me – hope for my despair. Open unto me – peace for my turmoil. Open unto me – joy for my sorrow. Open unto me – strength for my weakness. Open unto me – wisdom for my confusion. Open unto me – forgiveness for my sins. Open unto me – love for my hates. Open unto me – thy Self for my self. Lord, Lord, open unto me! Amen.