Are You Listening?

When someone speaks, do you listen–really listen? Or do you only hear their voice?

Maybe it sounds like the one in this video. Garbled, unstructured. And when they stop talking and stare at you, awaiting your response, you suddenly realize…

You have no idea what they just said.

yada-yada-1432923_1280Awkward. Now flip it around. How many times has it happened to you? You’ve just told your husband or someone close to you all about your stressful day, or some funny thing that happened at work. They give you this blank stare. “I’m sorry, what did you just say?”

Tempted to stomp away? You could do that, but it would only make the situation worse. Instead, draw a deep breath and exhale. Count to ten–whatever it takes–then repeat your story. Make certain you have their full attention, and that…

Their eyes are on you.

Other loved one.

And realize it happens. Your child is sharing her heart, and you totally miss it. Those precious moments are lost forever, because you were distracted. Your phone beeped–a message–an email–a Pokemon!

You were there for that person who reached out to you via cellphone. But not for your child, your friend, your spouse, or other loved one.

You missed the hurt in the eyes of the one sitting next to you.

It even happened to the disciples (of Jesus). Remember that night in the garden of Gethsemane?

“Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”–Jesus in Matthew 26:40, NIV

The flesh is weak. Our minds tend to wander.

These days, our minds are like starbursts–our thoughts headed off in myriad directions. We crave constant noise and distraction. Distraction. Music. Entertainment. News. “Likes” on our Facebook or Instagram posts. “Ping!” Wait, who’s that? Did they comment? I have 150 likes and 45 comments on the coffee meme I posted!

sisters-1190080_1280Wait. What did you say? I wasn’t paying attention.

I am now, I promise. See? My eyes are on you.

Too late.