After I dropped Lynne at the airport, I made the familiar journey back home. Back from an incredible week…back from some great time for the soul.
As I drove, I started thinking about our conversations this week, and realized that we had talked non-stop the entire time. True, we don’t get to see each other very often, and we are girlfriends, among whom chattiness seems a given. But the thing is, Lynne and I are both born listeners. People naturally talk to us, sharing with us their joys and sorrows, and we were made to listen, and listen with pleasure. While listeners encourage talking, and get the ball rolling, they typically sit back, once that’s done, and start taking it all in. They don’t usually talk much more, themselves.
Not true this week, however.
It was an interesting realization that I tucked away for further pondering, and I eventually pulled into my drive, my heart swelling at the sight of my home.
Oh, how I love it here.
Later, when Kevin came in, we said our hellos, and I relished his hugs and kisses. I’d put a small plate together of cheeses and olives, and while we ate, I started asking him about his work week, and some things we’d been working on before I left. About five minutes in, he said, “Why are we talking about work? Let’s go in the living room and sit down. I want to hear all about your trip!”
We sat there, over a glass of port that I’d brought home from the William-Chris winery, and he listened to me talk for about an hour. He looked me straight in the eye, occasionally asking a question, but giving me his rapt attention the whole time, never once fidgeting or changing the subject.
When we got up and started to get ready for bed, it occurred to me what a gift that was. Actually, what a gift it all was, between he and Lynne. Even when we’re listeners, we need a safe place to talk, just like anyone else. Certainly, we can go to God at any time to spill our souls, but when another human being whom we trust and love affords us that gift, it’s a unique and wonderful blessing.
If you have a born listener in your life, give them the same gift back. It will be treasured beyond anything else you can give. And if you ARE the born listener, find that person who will let you spill your soul and go for it. Be the one to give the gift to yourself.
Trust me, you’ll be the better – and the lighter – for it.
“He who has an ear, let him hear…” Revelation 2:7 ESV
“Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding…” Proverbs 2:2 ESV
“But whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” Proverbs 1:33 ESV
“Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand.” Mark 7:14 NRSV