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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

TITLE: Listen With Your Heart
By Lisa Evans


Growing up, I was often irritated by my mother’s voice when she called for me because it usually meant that she wanted me to do some household chore. Though I had three other siblings, my mother still bellowed my name the most causing me to wonder if she had somehow forgotten each of their names. Her timing was neither perfect nor convenient to summon me to her presence; she always caught me at inopportune moments. Like most children who don’t want to be bothered by a parent, the sound of her voice caused my face to contort, my eyes to roll, and my lips to make that annoying smacking noise. As I drudgingly made my way to where my mother was, the whole time I was thinking to myself, “What does she want?” However, when I arrived, I dare not allow such words to slip through my lips for fear that my teeth would soon follow!

When I was finally old enough to live on my own, the inflection of my mother’s voice towards me changed; it was no longer the sound of a dominating matriarch who demanded order under her roof. Her voice had now become the voice of reason and guidance through the twisted maze of life. Undoubtedly, her voice would greatly impact who I would eventually become and the distance I would go. Using my mother’s voice as my launching pad, I followed her lead and tenaciously aimed for stars far beyond my reach.

I had learned to welcome and appreciate the wisdom that dripped from her lips. But then one Friday afternoon, my mother passed away taking with her the only maternal voice that I had ever known. Her death was difficult for everyone who knew her because it was sudden and unexpected. After the funeral, my siblings and I each took something that belonged to my mother in remembrance of her. But what I longed for and wanted the most wasn’t an article of clothing, a piece of jewelry, or a photograph: I wanted to hear her voice again.

My mother’s voice was as unique as her fingerprints; no one else had a voice like hers. Everyday I would take a moment to reflect on my mother, recalling the sound of her voice. While I was driving to work one particular day, I experienced something frightening: My mother’s voice had once again grown completely silent, and I could no longer hear the sound of her voice. Losing that sound was like losing my mother all over again, and that was unbearable. The unwanted panic attack that overtook me had a domino affect that toppled everything from one end of my being to the other- triggering deep emotions and uncontrollable tears. Before it was over, my thoughts and feelings had become like a fist-full of marbles at the mercy of a child’s hand…unfolding slowly.

It was in that moment that God, in His sovereign love, looked down at my frailty and had compassion for my soul. His love seemed to reach through eternity and gathered all of my emotions and pulled me close to Himself. Immediately, His voice became my comfort as my comfort became His primary concern. He helped me to understand that even though I could no longer hear my mother’s voice with my natural ears, if I learned to listen with my heart, I could still hear her speaking. It wasn’t until months later during my personal time with God, that this experience would awaken a deeper, spiritual revelation.

From our infancy stage throughout our Christian walk, God deposits His word in our hearts. His hope is that the living word grafted in us would become as the Psalmist penned in Psalms 110:105, “…a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Thus, when we are faced with temptation, we would follow Christ’s example and flee from the bad or evil things of this world and pursue the good or godly things of His kingdom. It became increasingly clear that practicing each day to hear my mother’s voice was not something I had done in vain. It was a part of God’s divine plan to train my spiritual ears so that I could learn to listen to His voice with my heart and walk out His word in total obedience.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 NKJV)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Bryan Ridenour05/15/09
Wonderful devotion...thanks for sharing.
Marilyn Schnepp 05/19/09
"How strange," I thought to myself as I read this piece, "That another writer would write about their mother's voice." (Since my entry is also about my mother's voice.) I enjoyed the read, and the only suggestion I have is that you break the first paragraph down into three paragraphs instead of one long one. It makes for an easier read. There is much wisdom in this story, and appreciate you're sharing it with us.
Maria Kana Santos05/20/09
Thank you. Your article inspired me to always season my "speech with salt"- a Mother's voice with a loving, kind and tender touch. Your sharing encouraged me to "minister grace unto the hearers" in my own home... hearers such as my precious children, and my husband, esp.

God bless you.