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  • Writer's pictureJeff Kent

Good Listeners

            “Rhonda, you look really down.  What’s the matter?”

            “Mandy, I’ve got to tell you, it’s bad.  We don’t know what we’re going to do!”

            “So, what’s going on?”

            “Justin lost his job”

            “You’re kidding!”

            “No, I’m not.  He went in to work yesterday, and they told him that his services were no longer needed.  I’m just sick.  Had a migraine last night.  We have the mortgage, car payments; Jill’s in college; we’re still paying on those medical bills, and I’m...”

            “Now don’t you worry.  Everything’s going to be fine.  Why I remember back about twenty years ago when Kyle lost his job.  They let him go when the economy went south.  We had a big mortgage, two car payments, two kids in college, and we made it.  We scrimped a lot.  Ate mac ’n cheese, hot dogs - you know.  Kyle took two part time jobs, and I went to work at a pizza place.  We didn’t see each other much in those days.  There were times when we didn’t think we were going to make it, but we did.  Why, I remember one time when we had to sell off some things in order to make the mortgage payment.  It was really touch ‘n go for that one year.  I’ll never forget the time...”

 

            As we reflect on this conversation between Rhonda and Mandy, and maybe crack a smile or two, let’s ask some questions.  Do you think Mandy helped Rhonda?  In the end, about whom was this conversation?  Was Mandy a good listener?

            As detached listeners, we can see that in this case one person hijacked the other’s misfortune to talk about herself.  Most likely Mandy meant well, but in the end, she wasn’t really much help.  She did not give Rhonda the chance to really open up, talk, and release some of that frustration and fear that was surely inside of her.  Mandy was not a good listener.  James says we “must be quick to hear.”

            Listening is not easy.  Let’s ask God to help us be better listeners, not only to Him but to one another.

                                                                        ><>  Jeff

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