Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Ears" Are For Listening

"His hearing's fine.  All the tests are normal."  Our perplexity must have quickly shown on our faces.  The wise pediatrician looked at Jeff and me and replied before we questioned.  "Your son has selective hearing.  He's choosing what he wants to hear and doesn't want to hear." 

Yes.  We understood the kind doctor's words.  Our five year old son, Chris, had discovered an escape from unwanted words.  "Pick up your toys."  "Brush your teeth."  "Look at us."  Our imperative clauses were being ignored, not really unheard.

The visit to the doctor was revealing and healing.  Five year old Christopher understood he had been effective in the short term, but unwise in the long term.  A loving, short talk after leaving the pediatrician's office resolved the problem.  Our future imperatives were no longer ignored.  Chris chose to listen.

How's my hearing, Lord?

A still, small voice echoed through my soul in morning's soft light before I even pushed away warm, fuzzy blankets.  My momentary listening was soon smothered by daily demands.  The to-do's were not minimal:

Read the word with focus. 
Prepare my house for the market.
Do the church bulletin.
Fold yesterday's laundry.
Continue my 7th Year journey.
Study my Sunday school lesson.
Balance the checkbook.
Pay bills.
Care for my granddaughters.
Schedule doctors appointments.
And so on.

My lists are always written in black on the back of an index card.  Plain paper is very persuasive when its marks provide plans and structure for life.  These marks are good thoughts.  Words of needful things.

Needful:  what is essential, required, vital, imperative. 

We all have needful things.  Our conscious is too often overcrowded with what must be done.  Our Father, knowing our needs, equips us with wisdom, time, and gifts to fulfill all life asks of us.  Tasks that cry to us, body and soul.  Ideas that beg the lifting of hands, moving of feet, and investment of heart.

Yes, tasks cry. 

Their sounds are loud.  Boisterous.  RESOUNDING!

Beneath their boasts, lies the faint of still.  It is smothered, yet lives, and begs for listening.

How's my hearing, Lord? 

Teach me how to hear Your word though I am crowded with din of self and noise of life.  Teach me to savor Your whispers.  Teach me to select Your words, and to stop and embrace them, to hold them closely, write them down, meditate on them, and allow You to engrave their truth into my heart.

How's my listening, Lord?

Father, I ask for ears to hear beyond my temporal noise, for listening that will carry my soul into Your presence, and my own words to "Yes."
Grace, Friends,

A special thanks to Alicia Britt Chole, my friend and mentor, whose tireless work in The 7th Year is inspiring me to learn to hear.

"And the LORD came and called as before, 'Samuel! Samuel!'  And Samuel replied, 'Speak, your servant is listening.'”

1 Samuel 3:9-11