Listening Well

Sometimes I listen well. Like the time Eloise, my 88-year-old mother-in-law stubbornly refused to see the doctor. Wrapped in her red fleece cover, feet propped up on her short cane stool with jaw set, she listened to her favorite game show in her eat-in kitchen. She flatly refused to see the doctor about her worsening wheeze. Amy, her doting daughter, stood by with a worried, frustrated look. Dorothy, her loyal, health care worker, looked on, brow wrinkled with concern. I felt exasperated, unable to think of words to persuade Eloise to do what clearly needed to be done.

Mission. The word flashed in my mind. I knew from past experience that flashes of insight come from the Lord. Mission?? Okay, Lord.

“Eloise,” I began, “we’re on a mission to keep you with us as long as we can….Can you work with us here??”

“Yeah, Mom, we’re on a mission,” Amy anxiously added.

Eloise smiled, chucked, and finally agreed to let Dorothy make the appointment.

O that I would listen so well all the time!

Emptying the dryer of an oversized load of heavy towels, I sensed the door – with its crocodile-like snap – about to shut. I didn’t want to take the time to shift the load, knowing I was already close to dropping things. “So it’ll hit me in the arm,” I thought. “No big deal.”

“Bang.” With a loud whack, the door made a direct hit to the soft area of my elbow. “Ahhh!” I yelled, then mumbled, “That hurt a lot more than I expected.” Since nothing seemed broken I decided it must be a bad bruise to the cartilage.

After a couple of months of pain (and a lot of prayers and lamenting over my foolishness) I finally asked, “Lord, do I need to see the doctor?”



I scheduled an appointment for the next day.

Lord, help me resolve to continually and faithfully “…listen carefully and do what [You] tell [me].” (Genesis 27:8, New International Version)

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