‘It was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop’
Hearing this expression as a child I did an experiment. I learnt:
- If you drop a pin on a carpet you don’t hear anything
- If you hear anything it’s not the pin dropping but the pin hitting the floor.
I don’t always listen. ‘But I told you that yesterday’, Rachel tells me. Dropping pins? She might have dropped a drum kit! I still hadn’t heard.
Musing… listening for dropping pins…
Listening to others…
Everyone has something to teach me… the lady at the café, the elderly gent in a care home, the child who knows everything about dinosaurs, the teenage girl always on her phone… If they have something to teach me then I must listen for their dropping pins.
Trusted friends… random people… give me good advice… whether I ask for it or not… even when – especially when – I don’t want to hear it. Listening for dropping pins.
I was chatting to a friend on the phone yesterday. ‘I’ve had a bad week,’ she said. I was trying to understand what had caused this. I was listening to her thoughts and feelings. Not all of them were expressed through audible words. Listening for dropping pins.
I remember the wise words: ‘Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.’ (James 1:19)
Listening to myself…
I speak to myself with a number of voices. There’s the voice of my…
- …conscience… warning me of things I shouldn’t think, say or do.
- …heart… speaking with compassion and empathy.
- …reason… weighing things up carefully.
- …experience… bringing wisdom and understanding.
Listening to my own dropping pins.
Listening to God…
My Christian faith emphasises a God who speaks. Jesus described himself as ‘The Good Shepherd’ saying ‘My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me.’ (John 10:27)
Sometimes God speaks with just a still, small voice… listening to God’s dropping pins.