Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: PHONE (11/10/16)
- TITLE: Listening Ear Beware
By Lois Farrow
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Our row of caravans didn’t give much chance for privacy. Volunteers on a camp work site, we ate and worked together and I thought we were all living in love, peace and harmony! How wrong I was.
We had finished another delicious lunch provided by the camp cooks and were allowed a short rest time. When our team leaders, Tony and Sue, walked past my window towards their caravan next door, Sue gave me a little wave. Tony’s head was turned away.
A few minutes later his raised voice was clearly heard. Quoting scripture. On and on he went, I couldn’t help but hear every word. You could have closed your windows, I thought, if you wanted an argument. Sue wasn’t getting much right of reply. Her voice was quieter and I couldn’t pick up her words on the rare occasions she got a chance to speak.
I was embarrassed to be an unwitting listener. What should I do? Go for a walk? Knock on their door and see if I could arbitrate? It wasn’t my business, but I couldn’t believe his tone, so different from his usual courteous manner.
He clearly thought she was in serious error about something, and was trying to correct her. Why didn’t she thump him?
I retreated to my bedroom and closed the door. At least that cut the sound down, I could no longer hear the words, although I could still hear the tone. His tirade didn’t abate.
I didn’t go back to work that afternoon, others could carry on painting the bunkrooms. Instead I found other tasks away from the main work area. I planned to avoid Tony and Sue at dinner, but they came and sat opposite my husband and me and were as chatty as ever. How weird. Ding dong argument one minute, nice as pie a bit later.
“We rang my son this afternoon,” Sue said. “He’s in real trouble. He respects Tony more than his own father. Tony’s his step-father you know.”
Rang my son? It was a phone call? Tony wasn’t talking to Sue after all, but to her son?
“We tried to give him some scriptures,” Sue went on. “He knows them well enough, but is not really listening just now.”
That put a different light on it. I listened intently, making appropriate noises, but my mind was reeling. How wrong I had been. I’d jumped to an entirely wrong conclusion at hearing raised voices and judged Tony harshly for his tone to his wife.
Forgive me, Lord, for judging wrongly. Help me, Lord, not to judge a situation by the surface appearance when I don’t know the true story.
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