by: Brent Wood
One odd outcome of this season for me has been the fact that I can hear better. My hearing hasn't actually improved, but I am seldom if ever in a crowded room where the buzz makes it difficult for me to follow the conversation. When the crowds are smaller, it's so much easier.
And honestly, it's been nice.
But maybe hearing is something that all of us could improve on - especially at this time. Or maybe it would be more accurate to call it listening. Hearing is really about making out the words. Listening is about tracking with the message.
I wish I had just a hearing problem, but the truth is that I have a listening problem, too. I don't try to llisten to the heart behind what is said. I listen only enough to get the information I need to respond (and then wish the other person would stop talking so I could have my turn). I make assumptions without asking questions. I think that my opinion is what the other person is hoping for - instead of realizing they just need an opportunity to share.
James 1:19 says
Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.
The old cliche says that we were given two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. (Two ears are also very helpful for keeping a face mask in place). But all of us should take that adage to heart.
So for today, here is a challenge. When someone talks to you - just try to understand what they are telling you. Don't try to answer them or offer your two cents worth. Just try to take in what they are saying and leave it at that. You'll be glad you did. And so will they.