[CF Devotionals] 2019-03-06 - Listen to Hear

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The entire phrase in my mind was “listen, and you shall hear." I thought, ‘that seems familiar, but why?‘ After typing it into google, the latest source for anything popping into one‘s head, what appeared on the results took me back to the eighth grade. It was precisely near to the first line of Paul Revere‘s Ride. “Listen, my children, and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,” (https://www.bartleby.com/42/789.html) My classmates and I were each charged with memorizing the entire poem, to then to each have a turn at reciting it in front of the class. I don‘t recall how long we had to practice it, but I do remember standing in front of my mirror at home, reciting it and trying to keep eye contact with the mirror, while not looking at the book. I have absolutely no recollection of actually reciting the 130 lines of the poem, but now - unlike then - I do not believe the purpose was to torture us. Mrs. Travis wanted us to hear the story in the words, rather than simply memorizing them. She not only wanted us to hear it, but also to feel it, and ultimately picture it in our minds, as we recited it to the class. But the best way for it to happen was to already have it in our minds, without reading it from the book, much like when we practiced our songs in choir with music and performed it without using the music. When you rehearse enough times, it becomes part of you, and you are the vehicle through which the story is told. It is best with no distractions, so the story can be the star. The story I had the privilege of hearing, the other day, started with the simple interaction between myself and a lady in the checkout line at the grocery store. We exchanged a couple thoughts about the benefits and disadvantages of self-checkout as we - with larger orders - had no desire to partake in it. Next, I was surprised with her sharing how her year-old great- grandson recently went through a surgery on his neck, to determine if a problem was part of an ongoing ear problem or was an additional issue. She was most concerned about his level of understandable discomfort, due to the surgery and his capacity to understand or communicate well with them about what he was feeling. I told her I would be praying for him and the family. I shared that our son had a surgery when he was about that age, and that it was hard thinking about him having to suffer, even if it were with a better result to follow it. She then shared that her son, about my age, also had surgery recently on his back. She said he was doing well, yet still had lingering pain. He had upper back surgery another time, and all of it was a result of him being a carpet-fitter. I have seen people laying carpet on their hands and knees, and just watching it had made me uncomfortable, so I had sympathy for her and for him. We talked about how hard work like his, for long periods of time, certainly takes its toll on these bodies. I told her I would also be praying for her son, and for her, too. She needed to be heard. I needed to listen. I am quite sure it was no accident that I was in that line behind the sweet little lady, the other day.

Today, God showed me what it means to listen - to hear with understanding and with regard, and to incline my ear to someone. It‘s what he does to all of those who call upon the name of the Lord, at any moment of any day, and we can be his ears, as well. The word listens (in those letters) or the words hear, heard, and hearken are found throughout the word of God over two thousand times. I believe that speaks volumes to the importance of listening to hear, rather than to than to speak. As I heard concern and description, I thought about taking it all in, and only speaking as necessary, if necessary. A Mom and a grandma, as well as great-grandmother, she only wanted what was best for her family - ultimately with strength and healing. I have felt those things. Although not exactly like hers or others. Yet by sharing some words that make it clear that we hear others, combined with more often letting them know we care, we can go a long way to helping shine the light of our Father. It was an honor to share conversation over groceries, on their moving walkway to the cloth gift bags. Who knew such an opening could lead to a beautiful realization of the true love my Father in Heaven has for me, that he would let me take part in his work? Again, my eyes well with tears, now hearing it this way, “listen my child, and you shall hear… ”

“let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—"(Proverbs 1:5 NIV)

“Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.” (Matthew 15:10 NIV)

“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5 NIV)

“ For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.” (Luke 8:7-19 NIV)

“[ Listening and Doing ] My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” (James 1:19 NIV)

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CFD | March 2019 | Deborah's Devotions | Yesterday's Devotion | Devotional Topics