Experienced an act of friendship last week while cabin bound a couple snowy days in North Carolina.
My wife and I were spending some time together with a couple lifelong friends who invited us to visit with them during their stay in the mountains.
One morning, we had all gotten up and were in the main room having breakfast and making small talk. The TV was on so as happens some attention is given to conversation while keeping an eye on the “tube”.
This can be disconcerting to someone who may be trying to talk about something and the other is half listening to them while half listening to the TV. In all honesty I’m bad about that, the divided attention part, when the television is on.
In this particular case I was talking about some things that were going on about our kids and all I could hear was the TV going and it seemed like I was competing for attention.
I didn’t see it happen but I suddenly noticed that I heard my voice with no background noise. The sound had been turned down and we were engage just in conversation. Conscience removal of distraction had been made in my favor.
Some might consider this merely a courtesy and in some cases it is. And it can depend on the subject and setting.
But it was and is, more than that. It’s a sign of respect, “relationship hospitality”, invitation to become better know, understood. It gives a sense of acknowledgement and worth, caring and liking in some cases, fairness in others.
It warmed me, this act of attentiveness expressed without words.
Everybody has ears. But for ears to be useful they have to be connected to the mind and heart, and one has to be willing to listen and allow that connection to come into play for real hearing to take place.
“The idols of the nations are mere silver and gold,
made by human hands.
They have mouths, but they can’t speak;
they have eyes, but they can’t see;
they have ears, but they can’t listen;
and they have no breath in their mouths;
The people who make them will become like them.
along with everyone who trusts in them.” Psalm 135:15-18 CJB .
What this scripture says to me is though I hear, I could become no more able to listen than an inert lifeless object made in the form of a man.
Lot of things contribute to failures to understand, failures to convey love and worth, failures to express friendship. I’m sure one of the big ones that kind of sneaks in on us is failure to be attentive listeners.
Failure may be too strong. But maybe just as bad is that all didn’t turn out as good as it could have or should have. Either way our Father’s plan is that we should not lack.
Father... thank You for the blessing of being able to hear the sound of voices, the blessing of communing through our conversations with one another and sharing thoughts and experiences and knowledge.
Thank You that by being attentive to what we hear we can demonstrate loving kindness and friendship to others, to be toward and treat others, as You would.
Enable us to hear and understand, and then to respond in Your character.
May our interactions with one another grow in goodness and strength.
Guide us Father.
May You be pleased.
In Yeshua’s name we pray,
May God’s love be in us all.