A Listening Ear

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In life, I believe, there are times we need to be available to listen while others share their heart, hurts, and pains. I believe there are also times when the roles are reversed, and we are the one who needs someone to listen.

Unfortunately, the two situations may not always come at convenient times or neatly fit into our schedules.

Sometimes we may not feel like listening. Sometimes we may not feel like sharing.

As I thought about this, I remembered a story Mary Southerland told at a women’s conference I attended last summer.

On her flight to the conference, Mary was tired and didn’t want to be bothered with talking to anyone seated next to her. If we’ve ever been on a plane, I’m sure we can relate.

After she found her seat, she began looking through a magazine hoping the man next to her would get the hint. Well, he didn’t.

He asked where she was headed, and why. That’s when the young man explained the reason for his flight. He hoped to reconcile with his estranged wife.

For the entire flight Mary listened and ministered to the stranger God placed next to her on that plane.

God places people in our path he wants us to interact with too, you know. We may be tired and not really in the mood to engage in a conversation, especially one that requires us to actively listen and give input, but that’s what God wants.

What keeps us from being available to listen to others, I wonder.

Could it be our busy schedules? Feeling as if we have nothing of importance to offer?

And what keeps us from being willing to share our own hurts? Embarrassment? Feeling hopeless?

We’re called to be the light and salt of the world. How can we do that if we stay isolated and ignore opportunities to reach out to others?

May we never become so busy with doing stuff we don’t leave time for what’s important.


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You listen to the longings of those who suffer. You offer them hope, and you pay attention to their cries for help. Psalm 10:17 (CEV)

I wish you well.


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