Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Listening Ear

A woman called our home yesterday, hoping to speak with my husband about possibly receiving some welfare. Her story was so desperately sad I myself was in tears due to the intensity of her heartache.

There wasn't a whole lot I could do for her, but she didn't seem to mind. Her thanks to me boiled down to one simple thing: I gave her a listening ear.

It didn't feel like enough, but it had to be. As I've pondered over this, I've been reminded about how so many feel when they sit there listening to me vent and moan and get everything off my shoulders. They may not have any idea what it means to me to be able to talk to another adult about my problems, and to have them taken seriously. For me, it is often enough to have someone lend me a listening ear.

Someone to listen. Someone to recognize that our problems may not seem like a big deal to them, but it is a big deal to us.

At times it's so easy to brush off another's difficulties just because they're not a problem for us. I especially think about this with kids. Sure as adults we know another good friend will come along, or that the boy who's being mean today might ignore you tomorrow, or even that it's not such a big thing if we don't have hot dogs for dinner tonight even if we always have hot dogs on a Monday. To our tender hearted children, these things can mean everything.

I have had a lot of listening ears lately, for which I give many thanks. I can only pray my own ears will be open to bless others in the same way.

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