I Hear You. I am Listening.

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I hear you.. these are 3 words which I say to friends sharing their struggles and expressing their thoughts/feelings to me as they struggle. These 3 words comfort me when I tried to share my burden with my friend.

“I hear you” means I can imagine what you’re going through if I were to be in your shoes. I cannot claim to totally know what she/he’s thinking or feeling because every person is unique in his/her experiences. But it helps to know that the friend I confided in to share my burden, understands what I am saying and feels with me. In a word, she/he shows empathy. It means “I am listening.”

I am listening.. these 3 seem similar but might be even more important.
I used to teach toddlers at Sunday school. The toddler class at UECP consists of kids aged 0-3. I tell stories to children who do not even know how to speak, some just beginning to learn and speak words. It often felt like that I was talking to the walls.. seemed like only 1 or 2 listening. But you know what, I was often surprised when parents of these babies tell me how they listened and even repeated when they heard in Sunday school. It encouraged me greatly to know that they listened.

In the same manner, I can imagine how God is pleased when his children listen to what he has to say.

Deuteronomy 6
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Footnotes
a. Deuteronomy 6:4 Or The Lord our God is one Lord; or The Lord is our God, the Lord is one; or The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

Hear! Listen! This is the command that precedes the greatest commandment. God is calling me to hear: The Lord our God is one and He alone is the Lord. He calls me to listen: I am to love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my strength.

Hearing precedes listening. I might hear but I might not be listening. Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear. If I am not deaf, I can hear. When I listen, I must consciously concentrate as my brain makes sense of what I hear.

Today, when I write, I pray that my words will help my reader(s) even if it’s just one person. Just like how it was in Sunday school, it is good enough that I do my part to tell the story. I would never know how my story touched the seemingly inattentive children running here and there in the class.

There are stories how Sunday school teachers influenced great preachers like D. L. Moody. These unnamed heroes are just as remembered and rewarded for their faithfulness in God’s kingdom. They too shall hear their Master say to them: Well done, thou good and faithful servant.. Enter the joy of your Master.

Today, may I hear and listen well, Lord. Help me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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