Welcome February. Six days in and so far, you are no better than January. So, I’m going to change my focus.
Last Saturday, my church had a seminar about cancer. The speaker for the church service was a chaplain from Cedars-Sinai. To my surprise, her talk was not so much about physically doing something to help a loved one with cancer, but to merely slow down and listen. She told stories about various patients she had worked with and stories about their lives. Stories of things her patients loved to do and things they loved. Her message concentrated on listening. A simple thing to do, so often in our rushed society, stopping long enough to listen and hear someone is an anomaly.
The chaplain was speaking about relating to, comforting, and helping people in our lives with a serious illness. However, her overall message was mostly about seeing people. Listening to people. Developing a relationship with people. Being genuine with people. Being a friend. This applies to people with a serious illness, people without serious illnesses, everyone.
Think about your child for a moment. Right now, I’m cringing inside just thinking of the multitude of times I’ve heard my daughter say, “Did you listen to what I said?” Ouch. No, no I heard you, but I didn’t listen. Listening is powerful. Being heard bonds me to another human being like nothing else. Our children want to be heard. Our spouses want to be heard. Our friends want to be heard. Strangers even want to be heard.
I need to listen more.
When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. Jeremiah 29:12 MSG