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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hear (07/08/10)

TITLE: Our Duty is to Listen
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom


Bible Reading: Psalms 91

Bible Verse:“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him. I will protect him because he acknowledges My name. He will call upon Me and I will answer him;” Psalms 91:14-15 (NIV)

As a mother of what I lovingly call a chatterbox, I often found myself drifting off when she was talking. When she was little, the car ride could feel endless. It seemed like her little mouth would go into overdrive while my ears stayed in neutral. Often I was jostled out of my reverie by a voice calling,”Mom did you hear me?”

Usually I followed the conversation enough where I could repeat the words she had just said back to her. But even during those times, I’m ashamed to say I wasn’t really listening. Sure I heard the words she said, but I didn’t listen to the tone of her voice, catch an occasional glimpse of her face, or empathize with the story she was telling me.

Now she’s a teenager and I long for a car ride with my little chatterbox. It appears while I was off daydreaming about what to cook for dinner, or how to arrange it so all the kids made it to their after-school activities, and of course home again, my baby grew up on me and turned into a moody teenager.

Now, the words “Do you hear me?” are coming from my mouth and my daughter is the one nodding her head and repeating my words back to me. I know she’s not actually listening to me because hours later when I check to see if she did the chores that I had asked her to do, I find the litter box hasn’t been touched by human hands, the dishes never made their way to the dishwasher, and her backpack is still in the middle of the kitchen floor.

I feel sad that time has changed my daughter so much. I long for a bedtime chat where she is still talking incessantly. But she doesn’t have the time now. She’s too busy with her friends, sporting events, and even studying.

However, I am blessed to have a Heavenly Father who is more than willing to listen to my every word. If it’s important to me then it’s important to Jesus. How refreshing it is to know Jesus is up in heaven hearing my every word. Not once does His mind drift off to other more important matters.

He loves me so much; He even came to earth to die for my sins, enabling me the chance to spend eternity with Him. All He asks is that I believe in Him and follow His word; in exchange He gives me everlasting love.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, Thank you for loving us enough to truly listen to us. Remind us to listen to the people we encounter today. In Your name we pray. Amen

Quote of the Day: The first duty of love is to listen. Paul Tillich

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This article has been read 861 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Tina Leonard07/16/10
I enjoyed reading this and can relate on so many levels with so many different people in my life. If we all paid attention to others in our lives as closely as Jesus paid attention to us~can you imagine the communication. I think your daughter would be more than willing to listen to you talk and communicate with her, have you let her read this? I think it would move her. God Bless~
Ruth Brown07/17/10
So well said! One would always regret not listening if they lost them young in life. Blessings to you. Ruth
Colin Swann07/19/10
I absolutely loved this story - so interesting and so true. Wonderful! Colin
Carol Penhorwood 07/19/10
Absolutely beautiful! I can so relate to what you are saying having raised three girls. Now I try to listen more closely to my grandchildren. What a delight they are!

I too think you should share this with your daughter. It is so moving!

Great job, Shann!
Caitlyn Meissner07/19/10
This was a really good article, and a great warning to listen while we can. Thank you. :)
Lollie Hofer07/19/10
I enjoyed this devotional a lot. I like the flow of the story and how you laid out God's Truth for us without it sounding one bit preachy.
Joan Campbell07/19/10
I can't tell you how much this touched me Shann. I still have my little chatterbox, and often I also don't truly listen. What a gift you gave me today by reminding me that I need to grab those precious moments.

I think biographical writing is one of your strengths - I've loved every one you've done. This devotional layout is wonderful.
Mildred Sheldon07/19/10
You may hear what is being said, but listening is another matter altogether. That is where we make our mistake. You have to be present in any conversation. Good job and well written.
AnneRene' Capp07/19/10
My heart was seized with reminiscing memories of my own as I read this and my feelings were right in line with yours. Your messages are excellent and beautifully told.
Mona Purvis07/20/10
What a life-lesson you reveal here. Truly, listening, really listening, is priceless. My grown daughter calls me and talks on and on. I have to admit, I tune out some of it when it's about her friends and their latest trials. But, you have reminded me how important it is to be engaged.
Your writing seems effortless.

Chely Roach07/20/10
What a great reminder to have...someday I will be begging them to talk to me, lol. Great devotional; I truly enjoyed it!
Angela M. Baker-Bridge07/20/10
Very well done! You've touched a chord in all of us. Great job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/21/10
Such good reminders in your oh-so-true story. That's another things I'd do better the second time around (smile) really listen. I like how you showed the change from childhood to teen time.
Author Unknown07/21/10
I love the verse & quote you used to tie into the body of the piece. What a touching and poignant piece. And I love the reminder that in God's infinite capacity to hear- we are never drowned out by other pressing matters.

Great job, Shann. Doubly impressed knowing the feat it is when you're not feeling tops. (shoulder bump) good for you!
Sarah Elisabeth 07/21/10
Very nicely done on this devotion! Loved the quote at the end
Patsy Hallum07/23/10
What a true, well written devotional. Thank you so much. I have raised or help raise 4 different sets of kids so I know how true this is. I agree, let your daughter read it. It will open up dialog. Thanks!