About the Author

A writer of faith by day and mystery by night, Patricia Raybon is an award-winning Colorado author, essayist, and novelist who writes top-rated books and stories at the daring intersection of faith and race. More at patriciaraybon.com

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Reader Interactions


  1. I hear you! It’s funny how God shows up again and again in all the ways he does, how I didn’t know I needed to read your post until I read your words and it’s so fitting it feels like God talking directly to me! I would ask God for provision to pay the bills, to write and for a job. I’d ask the Lord to continue moulding and teaching me so I can be there for my husband for my children and for others. May they see Christ like actions through me and introduce them to his beautiful wonder.

  2. I needed to hear this today… I have been asking God, “ Are you listening to my plight for justice?” And I know he is listening & working out a perfect plan for me in his time & not mine.

    Amen. ❤️⚓️⚓️✝️

    • Amen, dear Karen. At church this morning, a group called the Justice & Mercy Legal Aid Center (in Colorado) was introduced. I’m not sure what you need is, but they provide free legal aid for people facing all sorts of life challenges. I’m not sure where you live, and I can’t personally vouch for them, but they might be worth checking out. They might know of a similar ministry in your area. I hope this is helpful! Blessings today, Paticia

  3. Rev. Charles Stanley had a great message on what it means for you & me to be a Good Samaritan. We must look with our heart as well as our mind on others. Websters defines Samaritan as a person who is generous in helping those in distress. God bless!

    • Frances, thank you! What a beautiful definition. Looking with our heart and mind on others. That’s such a wonderful reminder, especially when we’re asked to hear someone else’s problems and needs. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  4. Thanks Patricia…. I need to make a few forgotten phone calls, and listen… not judge… God’s hearing is 100%. Praise Him today \0/
    Happy Sunday to y’all

  5. I’m so thankful that God is such a wonderful listener and hears the cry of my heart before I can even get the words out. As a child, I felt invisible. My parents struggled with their own problems and pain. I did not feel pursued or heard. Today I have struggled with so many fears and repressed emotions and feelings. I’m in a season and have been for several years where overwhelming problems continue to come in waves and I feel I can’t catch my breath. My actions tend to be like that mother coming to you asking for help. I run to others begging to be heard and begging for help. But God keeps pulling me closer to Him and is showing me He is there pursuing me and truly hears my heart. I’m continually asking Him to help our small business and finances, for God to provide yet another new employee who will be the right fit and stay to help carry the work load. The turn over in our business has been crippling and financially we are struggling. We are in our 60’s and this has taken its toll on us emotionally and physically. I would also pray for my health and healing. Grief and severe anxiety and depression have put me in a daily struggle to keep my eyes on Jesus to function and get through each day. I also pray for a heart to really hear others and not just be in my head focused, only on my struggles and for God to show me the ministry He wants me to do. But to be patient in this season of just sitting at His feet.

    • Dear Anita,
      God’s blessings on you today. I sat with your comment, reading it over, and I want to first thank you for your heartfelt honesty. Your concerns are real and specific, and I can imagine the Lord drawing you closer to Him — again and again — since He is our answer to every problem. Just yesterday, I was reading Dr. Charles Stanley’s devotional on the 23rd Psalm. I hope it’s OK to share what he said. “Although our Shepherd constantly guides and cares for us, we will experience periods of hardship, suffering and darkness. It’s just part of living in a fallen world. However, God gives us amazing promises in the midst of the dark valleys. We never walk through them alone, because the Lord promises to be with us. Even when we can’t feel His presence, He is there. And His Word is our primary means of comfort — nowhere else can we find the relief we seek.” Anita, I pray those words assure you as they did for me yesterday. As much as I love my friends and treasure their support and good counsel, I find during times of great distress, is it Lord and His presence in prayer — and revealing His promises in His Word — where my comfort and answers are found. For you, Anita, I pray the Lord’s assurance that He sees you, He loves you, He is with you and we won’t leave you alone. I pray your strength to walk in His promises, even when you can’t see the outcome. Just keep following His light and the promises of His Word. If you have a friend who can support you in this approach, connect with that person, too. More than all, I pray you stand in His hope. As David said, “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you” (Psalm 39:7). Anita, may you cling to those words — and to His hope. He never fails. Thank you for courageously s haring your need today. The Lord hears you and will answer!
      With His love, Patricia

    • Anita,

      We are living between two Edens in the messy middle. Life here is hard & our hearts long for something better. While here God is with you always guiding your path. He never promised us a rose garden, but said we would have trials & troubles. Praying for you & hubby emotionally, spiritually & physically. May He send relief in the form of good long term employees, financial security. Prayers for some peace & contentment. God is our good shepherd & He hears our prayers & petitions. He will answer in His perfect time. Lysa Terkeurst said in her book “It’s Not Supposed to be this Way: “If I want His promises I must trust His process.” “What if disappointment is really the exact appointment you soul needs to radically encounter God?” He will slow you down long enough to get your attention. Prayers for you, your family & business.

      Blessings 🙂

      • Oh, Beth! Thank you! What a wise and loving reply to Anita. Thank you for hearing her heart and answering with such love and encouragement. I am humbled to add one word. Amen!

  6. Patricia, this is hard to *hear* because it’s convicting to me. While I generally consider myself a good listener (I’ve had to work hard not to “duet” as frankly many women do when we speak to each other, talking over one another before the other has even finished speaking!), I still do not always really listen. My mind wanders. I preconceive a response before the speaker is finished. Sometimes I give the pat answer. Other times, just as you did so long ago, I want to run, to cut the conversation short, or to plug my ears. Her truths are too painful, too overwhelming, too out of control; after all, I have problems of my own that I tend to keep bottled up. If I can’t solve mine, how can I possibly solve hers? Or maybe she has told me the same thing over and over and over again, and I tire of listening to the same story. These reactions reflect far more on my character than hers, and it isn’t good. But I also think there are times it is difficult to listen, because unlike Jesus who asks what He can do and can do it (He has the ability to solve problems), I don’t! I have no clue what to say; I have no idea how to help. I feel completely inadequate. But in a round-about way, this too is self-centered, because I am focusing on *my* abilities, *my* inadequacies, not hers, because I am focusing on me and my response. The truth is, humanly speaking, even if we can’t solve someone’s problem, we listen to her express it. Unlike Jesus who could really knew what the blind man needed before he told Him, and who could truly help him (Jesus wanted the man to know for himself and to ask Jesus’ help), I don’t have the power (usually) to help and to solve the overwhelming distress. But that doesn’t stop or excuse me from listening, to being there, in the ways you have suggested. And surely, I can pray. And surely, I can do unto her as I would want her to do unto me. Sometimes, when I open up and share troubles, I know no one but Jesus can solve, and I repeat my angst over and over again, if someone just shows me she loves me by listening, by being there, it helps me tremendously just to have found someone who will listen attentively, with love, sans judgment. I feel better, and she gives me hope.
    Thank you for a difficult, needed, and timely reminder!

    • Blessings, Lynn! Thank you so much. You said it so well. Just being there and letting the other person know we are, in fact, truly listening — “sans judgment” — is a priceless gift to a friend. My good friend Denise and I, during deep conversations, always tell each other, “I hear you!” I’m sure that’s why I love Isaiah 65: 24, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” His listening is so healing, encouraging, inspiring, loving. May we, in our friendships, show the same kind of love by our listening and hearing. Thanks, Lynn, for helping me think through the challenge of this demand with His love! Peace and blessings today, Patricia

  7. Asking the Lord for a place to live. My family (husband and 2 kids) and I live with my uncle who told us to get the f out of his house, he doesn’t want us here anymore. I don’t know what to do as we don’t have any money to move. Lord please help us.

    • Oh, my goodness, Andrea. I’m so sorry to hear of your family’s struggle. I can imagine how worried, frustrated and worried you must feel. In fact, I’m wondering — are there any churches in your area? If I were you, I would start there — just go into the office, describe your situation and see what they suggest. If you don’t have transportation, call them. They should have information about emergency housing and also about employment counseling so you and/or your husband can secure employment and establish regular income. Andrea, the Bible is very clear about, first, asking for help and, second, looking for it, by faith, in an organized way. The Lord owns everything and He promises to provide for all our needs. Trusting Him, go forth to those places that can help you and your family, and you will find answers. Then keep asking.

      As you probably know, that’s such a great life skill. For example, if your children are school-aged, you can talk to your school’s social worker. Tell the social worker you are being evicted by your uncle and you need a safe place for you, your husband, and children to live, for your children’s well-being. Also ask the social worker to help with your job search. Finally, keep speaking life over yourself, your family and your situation — using the Bible’s promises. And keep expecting the Lord to help you. Just as you reached out here today, continue to do that. I pray your encouragement, assurance and hope in the Lord. He sees you and will help you as you trust Him to lead you to the resources you need. I pray these suggestions were helpful. I will be praying for you, indeed. With His love, Patricia

  8. Patricia,

    Listening-really listening is a true art form. Many do not know how to listen & truly hear the other person. Women, especially, prepare an answer & often speak over the person before they have finished. We need to stop & listen to that person. We may be the only ears that person has to express their problems. Often times they may just need to “vent” their frustrations. For me to be a good friend means I listen no matter what-no judgement. I may not even say anything at the end. I just might offer a hug or a special prayer. Job had three friends. They came & sat with him for 7 days without saying a word. We should do likewise. Just be there for the other person. I have a group of friends who try to get together once a month. One friend relayed a startling revolution about one of her children. I didn’t say anything but sent up a prayer for her. Later when alone with her I asked her about the situation & continue to pray about it. Just wanting to be there for my friends as they are there for me!

    Blessings 🙂

    • Oh, dear Beth. Blessings and thank you. You sound like a truly loving, wonderful friend. What a blessing you must be to your friend circle. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and beautiful examples of love. Yes, let’s just be there for our friends — and they are to us, and as the Lord is to us most of all. Your example of loving kindness shines beautifully and bright. Thank you! With His love, Patricia

  9. Please, God, help me to find a way home to you. After the Church excommunicated me, I lost all hope. Since my soul is condemned to hell, how shall I live? I’ve toggled back and forth from anything goes to what truly matters to me–to spend each day here as Heaven on earth since this is all I have now. My best friend and I say we must trust in God, that perfect union of intelligence and integrity, and honor the love we have to share. Even if my soul is lost and I am condemned to die and burn for all eternity.

    • Angel, Please know that NO church will get you into Heaven or keep you out of Heaven. God gave us the ability to make choices, whether good or bad. If you are sincere about wanting to go to Heaven, all you have to do is tell Jesus you accept Him..You believe He died on the cross for You & you want to be with Him in Heaven. I assure you I am speaking truth to you. Since you have a computer, start listening to messages by godly preachers like Charles Stanley. Get into another church..one that does not have rules that are NOT in the Holy Bible. Your name is Angel so I pray that you receive all God has for you because He believes you are His beloved daughter!!! I will be praying for you. God loves YOU!

        • Angel.. just wanted to share another lifeline as is this one we read daily.. Patricia was right in saying..when only God will listen.. truly you live for an audience of One!
          I’m an avid devotions follower.. I’ve read Patricia’s wisdom also in the Daily Bread devotion.. you can trust her and these women and their wisdom along with a ministry called Proverbs 31 . Today I read an article from Whitneycapps.com , she also freely downloads a book called , Healing from church hurt…. I think God wants me to share this with you. He loves you and so do we the women who LOVE HIM !! Blessings Angel

    • Oh, dear Angel. Thank you for sharing here today. I agree totally with Frances. We are saved by grace, not by works — or by rules, or by a church’s decision. Moreover, you are loved by God more than you can imagine. Here is a Scripture to hold onto. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2: 8-9). Yes, a church may formally excommunicate someone from that particular church. But no pastor or church can condemn anyone to hell, neither now and certainly not for all eternity. If that is your concern, please pray to the Lord and ask Him to lead you to another church. I also ask the Lord to release you from all distress and worry over the decision made against you by the other church. I pray that the Lord leads you to a loving congregation and pastor that can disciple you and love you as a child of our loving Father.

      More than all, I pray you give your heart and life back to Christ. Remember that he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11: 28-30). Angel, following Christ is not a burden. It is a joy. That’s because God loves you more than you know. May you feel His love today in our replies. Yes, we hear you! More than that, however, God hears you most. Blessings on you as you release your anxiety to Him. May He lead you through this confusion to his sweetness of His daily peace. With His love, Patricia

  10. Oh, Patricia…I love your heart. You’re honesty. How you ask questions that allow me to ponder, to reflect, to look to God for answers. I’m so thankful you’re lending your words to our (in)community. You always tender my heart toward others, and leave me longing to be light and life to our broken world. xoxo

    • Wonderful, Robin! Blessings on you — and thank you so much. Your kind words are so encouraging. I actually feel like I’m fumbling my way through at (in)courage — not quite sure if I’m saying the right things in the right way. Thank you so much for speaking to my uncertainty with such kindness and support. I needed to hear you tonight — and the Lord is saying LISTEN! Yes, “listen to Robin Dance and be assured. that I am with you.” Thank you, wonderful Robin, for reminding me to hear the Lord — and also the words He gave me to say! With much love and thanks, Patricia

      • That is so hard for me to believe, Patricia. That you would second guess yourself here. You have added a maturity and depth to our community, making it even more beautiful. I mean that. You write with a seasoned “knowing” from knowing the One who loves us most :). That infuses a desire for ME to know Jesus more intimately!! You know the Right(eous) One, and as you seek Him, He’s leading you to write the right things in the right way (oh my…I’m trying to be so clever all of a sudden. Mercy!). Anyway…your winsome and humble spirit is an example to me, and in your own way of being you, it inspires me to be like Him. If you hear anything from listening to me, it’s only because He wants you to to hear a double dose from Him xoxo.

        • Robin, thank you so much! Yes, it’s past time I stopped second-guessing myself. (Not a good witness for the Lord.) He opened the door for me to pull up a chair at (in)courage. Through you, He is saying, first, to stay. Next, He is saying stop second-guessing myself. Third, He is saying to keep writing and serving. Thanks so much for affirming that! For all of us here, indeed, may He clarify our purpose, confirm our anointing and keep us moving toward His light and love. You certainly shared that with me here today, and I’m deeply grateful. Yes, for YOU! Blessings today and many thanks. With His love, Patricia

  11. This article was great Mrs. Raybon…I was evaluating myself and praying throughout this entire piece. Thank you for this wonderful word!

    I hope you do not mind, I shared your article as part of content for today’s online paper.

    • Blessings, Lynnette! Thank you so much. I’m humbled by your support and prayers as you read through this piece. Thank you, indeed, for sharing it on your online paper. May the Lord bless us all to listen as He does to one another. In these times, that can be a major effort — but when we do listen well, we honor Him. You do that well, indeed. Many thanks and blessings! Patricia

  12. Patricia, I’m reading this at the end of my day and taking a deep breath. Yes. This is my prayer too, ” I turn to Him today, asking for more compassion, less judgment, a more generous heart.” I’m so grateful for your honesty and your call to be women of courage who are willing to really listen and step into another’s pain. Yes, it can scary and overwhelming. Thank you, God, that we don’t have to have the strength or discernment for it on our own. Jesus, help us to listen like you today.

    Thanking Him for your voice and vulnerability today. xx

    • Oh, Becky! Thank you so much! Your loving guidance and support means so much. As I said above to Robin Dance, I’m still not sure if I’m hitting the mark here are (in)courage. With most posts, I feel as I’m fumbling around and guessing if my topic or approach is right. Then I get this wonderful encouragement from you! Thanks so much for supporting me on this journey. May God help us to hear His still, small voice as we seek to serve. Onward in His love! Love you, too, Becky! Patricia

    • Angela, blessings on you! Thank you! May your tears help wash away your worries or confusion. Remember God loves you without limits! Count on it. Knowing you are loved changes everything! Praying all the best — with His love, Patricia