Listening For Dropping Pins

‘It was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop’

Hearing this expression as a child I did an experiment. I learnt:

  1. If you drop a pin on a carpet you don’t hear anything
  2. 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.

2 thoughts on “Listening For Dropping Pins

  1. Genesis 16:13 is one of my favorite Bible verses, where Hagar responds with amazed gratitude that God has “seen her” in her despair, and spoken to her. I am tearfully grateful to have found your blog this morning…life is hard, and it’s a blessing to find someone who can teach from a distance, Sir. Truly, God is a good God, and my experience with knowing Him is that He hides diamonds in the dust of difficult struggles. In the valleys and wilderness, He always finds me–and is not offended by anything I throw at Him. He sees me, and He speaks. May He bless you Abundantly today.

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  2. Thank you for your kind words. The Hagar story has allot to teach us. God is a good God who stays with us through the difficult times of life… the valley of the shadow of death… the Gethsemane… and seeks to teach us through them… and that’s where I need to learn to God’s quiet pin-dropping voice better.

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