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Frank Laubach: Learning to Listen
Sometimes you want to talk to your son, and sometimes you want to hold him tight in silence.
In this letter, Frank Laubachshares with his father a resolution to accept each situation of the year as God's “layout” or “lesson plan,” and to learn to listen in uncommon, everyday moments of life.
January 2, 1932
In school a teacher lays out work for his pupils.
I resolve to accept each situation of this year as God's layout for that hour, and never to lament that it is a very commonplace or disappointing task.
One can pour something divine into every situation.
One of the mental characteristics against which I have rebelled most is the frequency of my “blank spells" when I cannot think of anything worth writing, and sometimes cannot remember names.
Henceforth I resolve to regard these as God's signal that I am to stop and listen.
Sometimes you want to talk to your son, and sometimes you want to hold him tight in silence. God is that way with us; He wants to hold still with us in silence.
Here is something we can share with all of the people in the world:
They cannot all be brilliant or rich or beautiful. They cannot all even dream beautiful dreams like God gives some of us. They cannot all enjoy music. Their hearts do not all burn with love. But everybody can learn to hold God by the hand and rest.
And when God is ready to speak, the fresh thoughts of heaven will flow in like a crystal spring.
Everybody rests at the end of the day; what a world gain if everybody could rest in the waiting arms of the Father, and listen until He whispers.
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Frank Laubach was a Christian missionary and educator who lived during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was one of the pioneers of the modern literacy movement and developed the “Each One Teach One” method to teach basic literacy. Laubach traveled extensively throughout the world, bringing education to remote and poverty-stricken areas. He wrote several books, including “Letters by a Modern Mystic” and “The Game with Minutes”, outlining his views on the power of literacy to improve the world. Laubach was a true humanitarian, dedicating his life to helping others and inspiring people to believe in the power of education.
Laubach, Frank C. Letters by a Modern Mystic. United States: Purposeful Design Publications, 2007.