Listening Hearts

“… how very much our Father loves us….” (1 John 3:1, New Living Translation)

Emily was visiting her grandmother. She had brought her dog, Princess, along. Across the street Emily spied a neighbor playing with his dog. His dog would fetch; Princess didn’t do “fetch.” So, having asked and received permission, Emily walked across the street, said hello to the neighbor and asked to play with his dog. To her delight, the neighbor said yes, and she began playing a game of fetch with his dog.

Princess stood at the door with a sad heart, watching her beloved playing with the neighbor dog … crying.

Emily was too busy to hear Princess’ quiet cries.

How often do I slip away from You, turn my attention elsewhere, leaving You with a sad heart? When I fail to take time each day to be with You, talk with You, read Your word, listen to You, it must hurt Your heart. When You knit me together in my mother’s womb, I’m sure it was with the desire that we would be more than passing acquaintances, meeting only on Sundays or whenever I could “find the time.” Like Emily, when my attention is elsewhere I’m unable to “hear” the quiet cry of Your heart for focused, intimate time with me.

Help me remember, Father, that ours is a relationship. And like all relationships, it requires time, a sacrifice of time. It takes work to grow in intimacy, the intimacy You – the creator of the universe and lover of my soul – actually want to have with me. Why? It’s beyond my understanding, but not beyond a listening heart.

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