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Click the heart to sponsor my service work at Valiant Hearts throughout the month of October. In their weekly support group, I will offer practical steps to overcoming the effects of childhood sexual abuse. For more information about this organization, visit www.valianthearts.org
Last week I sat at my kitchen table with the best listener I've ever met. Seriously . . . in my life. If listening was an Olympic sport, this woman would be a gold medalist.
She asked about my life. My circumstances. My heart. And when I answered, she listened. Really listened, which is to say, she didn't check her iPhone thorughout our time together, or turn the conversation back to her. She asked a lot of questions. And based on my answers, she asked more questions.
Who knew something so simple as listening, could bring balm to a wounded heart. Balm. In the truest sense of the word. She didn't try to talk me out of hurting--I hurt. For real reasons. She didn't remind me about the goodness of God. She didn't have to. Her unique ability and willingness to listen--was the goodness of God. I can't remember ever feeling so validated. Relieved, really, to feel so "heard."
When she left. I thanked God for her. I asked for opportunities to learn from her. Later that day, an excerpt from Mitch Albom's book, Have a Little Faith, came to mind. It was extracted from one of the Reb's sermons in 1958. And it's priceless:
A little girl came home from school with a drawing she'd made in class. She danced into the kitchen, where her mother was preparing dinner.
"Mom, guess what?" she squeaked, waving the drawing. Her mother never looked up."
"What?" she said, tending to the pots.
"Guess what?" the child repeated, waving the drawing.
"What?" the mother said, tending to the plates.
"Mom, you're not listening."
"Sweetie, yes I am."
"Mom," the child said. "You're not listening with your eyes."
Today, is about listening to others. Friday we'll explore the importance of listening to ourselves. Healing requires both.
I truly believe when people feel seen and heard by God, it's easier for them to see and hear God.
What is God whispering to your heart at the moment? Listen.
You are not alone,
Published on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 @ 11:54 AM CDT