Listen with Both Ears

Mark 4:9 Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Last weekend, my daughter gave a splendid performance in the musical, “Into the Woods”. As she was preparing to audition, she had trouble hitting some of the notes. I coached her, and tried to help her listen to the notes in her head before she actually sang them. In order to get her to really listen, I told her, “Listen with both ears.” This seemed to click with her, for after that, she heard the notes and sang them clearly.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at church. The service was about to begin, and I was rushing around, doing my preacher’s wife thing of trying to greet everyone – especially the new guests. I sing on the Praise Team, and it was time to high-tail it to the stage when I noticed a young man sitting all alone. A voice whispered in my head, “Go and speak to him.”

But I didn’t. People were waiting for me. Besides, this young man had been attending our church for a while. Surely someone else would greet him. I lost track of him in the hustle and bustle of the day. I hope someone reached out to him.

This past Sunday, Mark and I received the devastating news that this young man had died.

And I am so sad. So sad, for this young life that won’t have a chance to experience all that he should have experienced. So sad for all the might have beens. So sad for the person who will no longer be sitting in that seat during church.

I am very sad that I didn’t listen with both ears. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit speaks with a loud crash, and we can’t help but hear Him. Other times . . . perhaps more often, He speaks in a whisper. We must always be listening for His voice – listening with all of our strength, all of our attention. We must listen with both ears.

I hope that one day, I will learn to listen to Him with both ears, all the time. He is directing me in a grand musical, and the notes He has written for me are important ones . . . even if they are small ones. I don’t want to miss a single cue.

Dear Father, I’m sorry for missing my cue. Help me to listen better, next time.


12 Responses to Listen with Both Ears

  1. November 18, 2008 #

    This is a great reminder to all of us. Thanks for sharing.

  2. November 19, 2008 #

    Thanks, Lillie. It’s one of those hard life-lessons. I hope I learned it well this time.

  3. November 19, 2008 #

    More good teaching, Renae. I’m trying to be a better listener, too.

  4. November 19, 2008 #

    Thanks, Pam.

  5. November 19, 2008 #

    Renae – an invaluable reminder! Let us not be “too busy”. We are all guilty.

  6. November 19, 2008 #

    Thanks, Mom.

  7. November 20, 2008 #

    Renae — your church provided a haven for this young man, whether you got to talk to him or not. You both showed up for the battle that day, and in obedience served the Lord and His people. His family listed your church as his church, and your husband is officiating at his funeral service. That is meaningful and high praise for the body of Christ you are shepherding. We will continue to pray for him and his family.

  8. November 20, 2008 #

    Thank you, Anne. His family will need all of our prayers in the days to come.

  9. November 20, 2008 #

    Renae, you’re not alone — we’ve all missed our cues from time to time. This one must be especially hard for you to get past. My heart goes out to you.

    You know, sometimes there are so many things pulling at us and clamoring for our attention that it can be hard to know if something we hear is the Spirit speaking to us or just another thought racing through our minds. Sometimes I even think the enemy tries to distract us with whispered “to do”s. Sometimes the voices can be hard to discern — for me anyway. It’s easier, though, when, like you said, we listen with both ears. Things become clearer then. Good way to put it — I’m going to try to remember that.

  10. November 20, 2008 #

    Thank you, Cheryl. I appreciate your words, my friend.

  11. November 21, 2008 #

    Oh, Renae, this is such a tough thing… I wish we could just learn from a textbook and get 100 percent on the final test. Thanks for sharing this with us, because now we can try to learn from your hard lesson and maybe this can be like a “textbook” for the rest of us.

  12. November 21, 2008 #

    Thanks, Jeanette. I hope so.

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