I recently explained to my daughter the difference between hearing and listening. She kept getting angry at her brother for saying things she didn’t want to hear and used it as an excuse to fight with him. I kept telling her.
You don’t have to listen.
But I can’t stop my ears, even if I cover them, she said.
I told her that listening isn’t just hearing, it’s acknowledging and responding to what is being said. It requires some kind of action on our part. I didn’t explain to her that most of the time I can’t help hearing my children, but often I’m not listening. Because the noise is constant and sometimes unnecessary. (Strike that, mostly unnecessary).
When our third child was born and we found out he was going to be a boy, I wanted his name to mean somethings special. I starting looking up names based on meaning. We often joke that we should name our kids for the good qualities we hope to see. Since our second born really doesn’t listen very well, I started looking up names that meant hearing, listening, obeying, etc. That is how I found Simon. He who hears or he who listens. I felt immediately like it was the name for him. It felt like a blessing I was praying over him. Since we chose his name, months before he was born, I have prayed that he would have a unique capacity to hear the voice of God.(Of course it also wouldn’t hurt if he listened to his parents as well).
That little boy is now a year old, as of yesterday. He has a lot to say, though little of it involves words. I marvel at his easy smile and laugh. He is my easiest child, by far. As the days slip by, I find myself grieving of the loss of the babyhood. The brief window of that magic first year has drawn to a close and I wonder if I am the one who has failed to listen. This is my last chance to mother a baby, a baby boy. What does God have to say to me during this time?
Am I able to hear him? Am I even listening?
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