Said the night wind to the little lamb, "Do you hear what I hear?"
No, this is not a Christmas post but this song popped in my head as I wrote the words. The phrase above, however, is applicable to today's post, though.
Have you had one of those conversations where the other person clearly wasn't listening to what you said? She said she did, but somewhere in the words she missed the meaning in your heart? Yeah. Me too.
A husband and wife were having a wonderful day…until…
Wife: Did you have a chance to put gas in the car on your way home?
Hubby: Uh huh He doesn't look up from his newspaper/news/ipad/etc.
Wife: Okay, Thanks because I have an appointment tomorrow morning. She takes one step away then stops. Are you sure you put gas in the car?
Hubby: Yes He continues looking at his newspaper/news/ipad/etc.
Wife: Okay. Thanks.
Next morning. Can you guess what happened? Right. The gas tank was on empty when she turned the ignition on. That night when they both return home…
Hubby: Hi hon, how was your day? He approaches her and tries to give her a kiss.
Wife: She steps back and doesn't say a word. Dinner is prepared as normal and on the table, but she says nothing.
Hubby: Dinner looks good. What's wrong? The outstretched arms and concerned eyebrows shows he probably doesn't have a clue.
Wife: She folds her arms and inhales, but refuses to say a word. She sits at the table and doesn't feel like praying with him but will anyway.
Hubby: What's wrong?
Wife: Nothing. She stares down at her plate to avoid eye contact.
He stops asking. She doesn't respond. The standoff continues until…
Wife: It's your fault.
Hubby: What is?
Wife: I was late to my appointment.
Hubby: His eyes search left and right until they stop, wide, and he looks at her. The gas. I'm sorry. I forgot to put the gas in the car last night.
Wife: But …..
Well, I think you can imagine how this finishes. Eventually the sorrys are said and accepted.
Yes, I picked on the poor hubby, mainly because I am a wife. I suppose if he had written this post he would have written a vignette about the wife not listening. :)
Listening to what a person is trying to really say and not the words that come out of the other person's mouth is so very important, and difficult.
Fortunately, God knows what we are really saying, what the thoughts are in our heart.
But when we listen to others, we need to consider a possible unknown circumstance going on in their life. Maybe a mom was up all night with a sick child. A dad had his work criticized at work the day before. A college student had a flat tire and missed an exam. The coffee spilled and stained a favorite garment. Maybe….
If an unusually strong emotional voice is used by the person we are speaking to or few words, instead of proceeding with what we want to say, or reacting, try to consider the unknown circumstance. Perhaps offer to listen, help, or pray.
Then, and this is no guarantee, you may hear what the other person is truly saying.
This post has been brought to you today by the one-word: Listen
How can we better show we are listening?
How can we better demonstrate an interest in a person's need?
(Feel free to share a Bible verse.)