Today I am reminded of a story that I read while sitting in my 1st grade classroom. (Yes, a very Looong time ago) The story was called “Lucy Didn’t Listen” ..a little cartoon girl that was always smiling, going about her school day. The only issue that “Lucy” had was that she was not a good listener. When the teacher would announce recess, Lucy would get distracted, end up getting her lunch box, and heading to the cafeteria, only to look and wonder? Where is everyone? I thought the teacher said it was lunchtime? The entire story found “Lucy” in the wrong place at the wrong time… or atleast busy doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. The teacher always said…”But Lucy, you didn’t listen. I often wondered how this cartoon “Lucy” could be so clueless…what a goober.
Today, I met “Lucy”once again in my own mirror. She was not the cute little pencil drawn character that I had remembered. She looked a LOT different to me as an adult. I can honestly say, that I found her pretty unattractive.
The truth is, sometimes I don’t listen, “Really” listen.
How is it that we can hear a pin drop when we are afraid of being home alone? We hear the smallest creak in our cabinet door hinges that can officially drive us nuts when someone continually opens them? Yet, when we get much too busy, our spouse, children or friends can talk in an audible voice, and we hear only part of what they are saying?
How often do we always “really” hear what we are supposed to? Maybe we are busy, maybe we are distracted or just preoccupied..maybe we just are not “really” listening. Sometimes we have to make a conscious effort to hear what is being said to us.
I wonder how often God shakes his head at us and says, I did tell you, but you weren’t “really” listening. Once again I receive my dose of Grace… God’s grace. Mercies that are new to me every morning. How many times have we felt that still small voice inside that told us to listen for more than what our natural ears are hearing? I have many times. Many times I have “really” listened. Others, not so much.
Several years ago, I heard that little voice remind me to call one of my elderly friends since it had been awhile since I had checked in on her. But, I got busy. I didn’t call. Sadly, I never got the chance to hear her voice again. Chastisement of the worst kind. I wasn’t listening. Other times, I have actually listened, and made that call, or drove for a visit..and was overwhelmed by it’s implications. Learning from my past mistakes.
Recently, my phone rang while I was out. Busy. A message left for me to listen to. Much later in the evening, I played my message. I heard every word. For a brief moment, I was quickened by that still small voice, telling me that something wasn’t right. Something I heard was not quite okay. I knew I should drop everything and return the call. Once again, “busy” stole the time. I heard, but was I “really” listening? Unfortunately, me aka “Lucy” was not listening.
As it turned out, my friend needed me. I was only half -listening. She was hurting. I wasn’t listening. I was busy. Ouch… I missed the mark..and she suffered a deeper hurt because of it.
I asked my friend to forgive me and she was gracious (there it is again-Grace) I was truly sorry. At the end of my day, I will revisit the 1st grader story of “Lucy” and hope to see my own reflection in the mirror next time. The kind of friend God intended me to be..the one that “really” listens.
I challenge you to “really” listen. To hear what is not always being said with words, but what is being said with the heart. Proverbs 17:17 says “A friend loves at all times” … I like to think they are pretty good listeners too!