Hearing & Listening

I had a weird dream last night. I don’t dream – or remember dreams – very often…

I was playing guitar at a big event. I didn’t know anybody else there. We were preparing to start. Everyone was busy with their responsibilities.

A woman was also playing guitar; her guitar initially had no strings. She didn’t know how to string or tune her guitar; I wasn’t sure mine was in tune. I needed to tune both. I couldn’t hear anything because of the noise everyone else was making. I was getting really anxious…

I was listening but couldn’t hear what I needed to.

Rachel says I have selective hearing; she may have said that – perhaps I wasn’t listening.

There’s a huge difference between hearing and listening. Out walking I can hear traffic, the builders working on a neighbours’ house, two women in conversation… Once I start listening I’m aware of the blackbird in the tree, the cheerfulness of the builder, the name of one woman’s daughter.

I’ve been reading this morning about the Israelites. They heard what God said – but they took no notice. There wasn’t attentive listening that affected their living

Daniel, a local teenager, is profoundly deaf. He’s involved with a petition regarding the wearing of facemasks in schools when schools reopen next week. He’s calling for clear face masks and other adjustments to be made available; the Government must make sure that deaf children have the support they need to access learning.

If he can’t lip read and see facial expressions there will be a real problem for him regarding communication with both staff and other students. Daniel can’t hear… but perhaps he can listen better than I do.

Today I shall have conversations with family members, friends, perhaps even God. If I’m listening I shall appreciate in a deeper way joy, anxiety, unspoken thoughts, the feelings of the heart and not just the words of the mouth…  

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