This blog post was inspired by the new book by Karen Ehman titled, Listen, Love, Repeat which releases on November 15, 2016 you can purchase a copy at http://listenloverepeatbook.com.
In a world of instant – well, everything – how are we expected to listen. Not hear – but listen. A couple struggling to hold their marriage together, teens who take their lives, racial wars, religious injustice, the list goes on and on – what would our world, our communities, our homes look like if we just slowed down long enough to listen. Listen to their spoken and unspoken words.
Years ago when my girls were small, they had a bus driver – an older woman who never seemed very happy with her job. She dutifully made her stops throughout her route. She was always on time but never really smiled or greeted the kids and could barely raise her hand to respond to my wave. I had already labeled her CRANKY. One day when I mentioned this to a friend of mine whose stop was right after mine, she said “Linda, we don’t always know what others are going through” and proceeded to tell me her story. Our bus driver’s husband had cancer. She awoke every morning to clean and feed him before she began her bus run. After her two rounds of bus runs, she’d head back home to relieve the nurse and would proceed to wash and dress her husband, do the laundry, and cook dinner. Again, a nurse would come in while she ran back out to take on the after school activities/sports bus for extra cash. Suddenly I could think of so many other adjectives for this woman, and CRANKY wasn’t one of them.
From that moment on, I lived my life and always told my children that we never know what someone else is going through. Our world is becoming one of less face to face social interaction. The activities that used to bring us in human contact with others is fading away. We lose the ability to read people’s body language, hurry to respond without really listening to the entire sentence of another. Listen, sometimes, to the unspoken hurt, injustice, or loneliness of another. I think the art of listening is a gift; a ministry – one that everyone is qualified for.
There is a rule in my house – no cell phones at the dinner table! It is the one precious moment of the day where Heart Drop moments can occur. To listen to the moments of one another’s day and see where God is calling us to serve, to love, and to support. I find the car to be another one of those places – especially where we live. There was always plenty of time driving to activities and sports or sitting in the car waiting for something. These are all opportunities to turn off the outside noise and open up the ears of our heart.
Today, be mindful of one of those listening moments and share with me your story. Let’s end our week sharing stories of hope and goodness that can, even for a brief moment, quiet the noise of the world around us.
If you like this idea of being present in those Heart Drop Moments, you’re going to love the new book by Karen Ehman – Listen, Love, Repeat – which will be available Fall 2016! Now hurry up……and go listen!