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To fully give someone a listening ear is the best thing someone can do for another. It's not easy to stop and always give someone the full, apt attention they need, or that they're asking for.
As a mom... this following quote-for-thought has given me pause.
Do you listen to understand? Or, do you listen to reply?
I can remember my youngest - Jayne - a couple of years ago. Imagine, the baby, seeking to "be heard" amongst everyone else's chatter and clamoring...
She'd be sitting on my lap and would try to be telling me something... then, because I wasn't listening, she would take her chubby little hands and grab my face - turning my whole head towards her own... so that I would really have to LISTEN to her!!
I can remember on more than one occasion my own "demand" for a listening ear. I had a dear friend who would willingly take hours into the night, sometimes, just to listen...to me ramble and pine and dream...
It was a season, for sure. One that didn't last forever. And yet, I'm sure that I took way more of her time than necessary.
But, she had a gift. The gift of listening...
Her friendship was dear. And, still is.
It's something I'll never forget. A blessing I'll cherish long into forever!
I do want to be this "gift" to someone else.
Willing and ready to set life aside; to truly listen to someone - with where they're at. With kind understanding. Listening with questions that draws them out even more...
Obviously, for this mom, this starts at home!!
In all of that, though, the above mentioned quote - reminds me of how and where I need or want to grow. I realize I reply to readily... and am not patiently listening.
I'm so quick to be thinking of a reply - my reply - while someone else is talking - that I really miss what they are saying. It's humbling to have to go back (within seconds of the conversation) and say, "I'm sorry - what did you just say?" I've done this on more than one occasion...
I have so much room to grow...
So - this Christmas Season... with this Gift of Listening...
To master this...what do you say we slow down and really turn our gaze to the one who truly LISTENS! I know I need His help.
Listen to what the psalmist David says in Psalm 5:1-3...
Give ear to my words, O Lord,
consider my sighing.
Listen to my cry for help.
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.
The Psalms are full of examples of prayer and petition... to the Lord. Here's another, of David's words, found in
Psalm 27: 7-9
Hear my voice when I call, O Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Saviour.
Oh friends...in JESUS, we have the greatest example; the Gift of Listening!!!
Doesn't that give you such peace?
**On a side note...
Have you ever stood outside on a snowy night and truly took in the quiet of the moment. Snow softly falling. If you hold your breath, pause.. and truly listen. I promise, you can almost hear those snowflakes falling...one right after another.
That too is such a gift. Try it sometime, you'll see... it stills you and all is right with the world!!