Thursday, January 21, 2016
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak.” James 1:19
This coming Monday will mark 5 years when I drove my father-in-law to the Hospice House to admit him. Bruce would be arriving shortly once he collected the things that would bring his dad comfort. I didn’t know what to expect. I had experience with another Hospice House with my own family members but was never in charge of admitting them. It was a very unnerving process but one wherein I was richly blessed. The first person with whom I met was the social worker and she patiently listened to my story, and made the experience completely comforting. Yesterday, I was taken back to that day almost 5 years ago but was on the other side. I am so blessed that the Lord has called me back to one of my passions, which is helping families as they are walking their loved ones to Heaven.
Yesterday while volunteering at the Hospice House, family upon family entered through those doors with the same anxieties, fears and sadness that I experienced. I watched how tenderly and patiently our social worker handled the families, being their first point of contact. Later during the day when we were preparing to receive the final family of the day I told her what a blessing she must be to those families. She said something I will never forget as she spoke of meeting the families wherever they are in their emotions. She said, ‘I’m just another ear who hasn’t heard their story. I always take the first 20 minutes to just listen and meet them where they are.’ The first person that came to my mind was Jesus, the One to whom we have authority to cry out. He is the One who will always listen...will always give His ear to us no matter how many times we tell Him our story. He is the One who will meet us in our greatest despair and provide for us in our deepest need. He has given us examples of how we are to be sensitive to the suffering of others. “Jesus stopped. He listened. Jesus was fully present with all He encountered – He gave them His full attention. He called people by their name. He let them tell their story. He was never in a hurry. He mourned with them and was present in their pain.” www.bibleorg/learningtolisten.
We too must be that ear who is willing to listen to others in their despair and suffering. We must give away all good that has been given to us. It is the way of God and manner in which we are His hands and feet.