Learn the art of listening


The robin stands and waits patiently, head tilted slightly. It might take two seconds other times longer. They don’t move, they wait and they listen. When the time is right, down goes that beak and up comes a worm! That listening paid off!

The fawn antelope is standing by the doe and at the first sign of anything the doe speaks the language of antelope and the fawn drops to the ground. Their very life depends on their ability to listen.

Several years ago I stood at the stove doing my usual cooking thing.  She stood at my knee talking up a storm. She was four, a very wise four. She was asking questions and I was giving her the pat answers, “Yep,” “Oh my!” “Wow,” “That is awesome.”

After several minutes she patted my leg and said, “Listen Gram.” I assured her I was listening and went right on doing my stirring and frying. She then uttered the words that have stayed with me from that day. “Gram, listen to me with your eyes.”

Who knew that a four year old could utter such a profound statement, full of truth that went straight to my heart. I was semi-listening and certainly not hearing her!

From that day forward I have tried to learn to listen with my eyes. To my husband, with a severe hearing disability listening with his eyes is how he is able to communicate. To ask my friends how they are, and then truly look at them and listen has made a remarkable difference in how I hear them.  

I love it when folks lay down their electronics and look each other in the eye. True listening occurs, and just like the robin or the fawn antelope, for some their very life depends on it. We all want to be heard. I am so thankful for a heavenly Father who is there, ready to listen not only with his eyes but his heart. Who listens and cares about every word. He is not distracted as we are, his conversation time is not limited. 

It takes practice to learn to listen. Today is a great day to start.

Psalms 116 1-2 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

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