“Mom. Mom. MOM. MOTHER. DAYLE!”
I’m used to hearing this. A lot. From the sides of soccer fields to the middle of malls to somewhere in the great outdoors. I’ve been told I’m unobservant. I don’t pay attention. My mind wanders.
What else is new?
I’m a big picture person. Details escape me like it was my job. Not that I don’t see the necessity of them.
I miss them.
When my kids or the grands begin calling me, I’m often talking to someone else, focused on an important issue. Or in my own Neverland.
I’m honestly good at listening. I need to be intentional about it, my focus in the moment. If my concentration is elsewhere, I don’t hear others.
No matter how much I care for them or want to be engaged in conversation with them.
The kids have learned to change their intonation. Become more insistent.
Listening is a skill I need to develop to a higher degree. There are times when I’m listening to someone and I’ve somewhat tuned them out because I’m crafting my response. Thinking how I can fix them. How I can help them. How what I have to offer is more important than hearing the rest of the story.
How deluded can I be?
Being heard by others is one of the things that people find most encouraging. It reflects an attitude of respect to someone when we pause in our busyness to hear them out. Not fix them. Not offer sage advice. Really listen. Hear the heart.
When I take the time to listen, I’m hearing between the lines. Catching the nuances of emotion and attitude. It’s not just what is being said, but how it’s being communicated.
The better we know a person, the deeper the relationship, the richer the communication will be. The more significant the need to listen. We’ve a better understanding of those we care for; there’s a bigger story. They need to know that we bring that understanding and heart to the conversation.
God speaks to us with that urgency and heart. A bigger picture that reflects His commitment to knowing us, loving us, pouring His grace and truth out on us.
If we’ll hear His voice.
There are areas in the world, in our own country, where folks feel God isn’t worth the conversation. Where people don’t want to listen to Him. To hear what He might have to say about caring for them. Forgiving them. Giving them hope. In some areas, He’s become nothing more than an expletive. Or not even acknowledged as existing.
And yet, when we’re despairing, dying inside, hurting so much that life doesn’t feel worth it, the first One we turn to is God. Calling to Him to hear us.
When we’ve never listened to Him before.
Here’s the beauty of who He is. If we’re serious about seeking Him, He hears us. If we’re looking for help from Him, recognizing we’re at the end of our rope, we will find Him.
He waits for us to hear His voice. And respond.
There’s a lot of noise in the world. Everybody wants to be heard.
The quiet voice is God’s. Speaking love to our hearts, waiting for us to respond.
Can you hear Him now?