Open Your Ears..

“Open your ears ….
… and let them hear!!!”  I was looking thru the Portals of Prayer that my Mother sends me quarterly and one of the daily devotions was entitled, Hearing and Listening.  The title reminded me of the phrase, “Open your ears and let them hear”, a phrase that I heard from my Mother when I occasionally wasn’t paying attention.  Little did I know (or realize) until I looked in my “Find It Fast In The Bible the Ultimate A to Z Resource” (Copyright 2000 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.) that the reference to “Ears and Hear” is mentioned at least ten times in the Bible.

Okay, so we are to open our ears and hear.  What are we suppose to hear?  Hearing can be defined as “the faculty of perceiving sounds”.  What sounds are we suppose to hear?  What do we do with the sounds that we do hear? Do we just shake it off as noise or do we “listen” to what we are hearing?  Listening can be defined as “to give ones attention to a sound; take notice of and act on what someone says.”

Okay, so do we always listen?  I know I don’t.  Unfortunately, I am sometimes easily distracted by my own thoughts.  It has been suggested to me on more than one occasion that I should try to live in the present more and stop thinking too far ahead or dwelling on the past.  While both planning ahead and learning from the past are healthy, there is some definite truth to living in the present moment.

As a CNA working in a hospital, I have the blessing of meeting lots of people.  I often times meet these people when they are feeling at their worst.  As a general rule of thumb I do not bring up religion or Faith unless my patient freely speaks of it first.  I have been blessed with many many wonderful conversations that have allowed me to reflect on my own Faith, while listening to someone who either has a strong Faith and isn’t afraid to share it, or someone who may be questioning Faith and what it really is.

Last Friday night my assignment was to sit one on one with an older gentleman.  During those twelve hours we had several conversations about Religion, Faith, Relationships, Grace, and Forgiveness.  While I wish he would have been able to get some much needed rest, I enjoyed visiting with him.  I am thankful and blessed to have met him.

This last Saturday I along with others from God’s Grace had the opportunity to spend a day with Dr. Dick Hardel. Honestly, I contemplated whether or not to attend.  I had worked the three nights prior and knew I would be tired. I had a feeling it would be interactive and full of sharing and thinking and listening … after all, the retreat title was “Releasing the Inner Child, Inside Out” … child would mean some kind of arts and crafts and creativity right?? Would I be able to put all my tiredness and whatever fears I had aside to enjoy it and get something out of it?

After having sat with my patient on Friday night I am very happy to say that God decided for me that I would attend and I had a wonderful day.  Yes, it did entail thinking outside of the box and yes there was some creativity needed along with some art work to be done.  But the day was more than that; it was again about building relationships: relationships with my fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ, a relationship with myself and a relationship strengthened with Christ.

I am truly blessed and Thankful for the words of Jesus, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” I am blessed that I was not only able to “hear” the words of a conversation with my ears but to hear it with my heart; to listen as Jesus wished.

Dear Jesus, thank you for the moments in which we are able to listen with not only our ears, but also with our hearts.  Please help us to stay focused on what is important and to not only hear with open hearts and minds but to share ourselves with others.  Help us to remember that sometimes just listening can make all the difference in the world.  In your name we pray, Amen.

April Schauer

(References to “Ears to Hear” can be found in Deut 29:4, Ezek 12:2, Matt 11:15, Matt 13:9, Matt 13:43, Mark 4:9, Mark 4:23, Mark 7:16, Luke 8:8, and Luke 14:35)

(Definitions of “Hearing and Listening” are from Google)

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