Straight from a Hearing Heart
By Lisa Elliott
I had a new experience recently. I went to a hearing centre to have my hearing checked. Why, you ask? That’s the same question the audiologist asked. It was actually the final question on the questionnaire. “Why are you here today?” He chuckled aloud when he read my answer. “I’m here because my husband strongly encouraged me to get my hearing checked.”
If truth be told, my children have also been encouraging me to do the same—for quite some time. They’ve all noticed that in the middle of a group conversation I will interject something that has just been discussed or I’ll only hear half of what someone has said, asking them to please repeat it. I can tell it’s rather frustrating for those concerned. However, my response to them has been consistently, “My hearing is fine. It’s just selective.”
How do I know this? It’s a craft I’ve worked hard to develop through the years. To begin with, when my kids were little, I could hear every bump, breath, and bellow. I knew from the sound of something dropping exactly what and where it was. There were no secrets that I didn’t overhear. My hearing was so good I could easily recognize a voice over the phone—without call display! That was a miracle, not just because I recognized the voice, but because typically the background noise of my busy household made it almost impossible to hear my own voice let alone someone else’s. That’s when I worked hard to tune any noise out that blocked what or who I was trying to hear. I chose what I wanted to hear and blocked out what I didn’t.
Back in the audiologist’s office, after using a device to test the pliability of my ear drums, he then sat me in a sound booth. He handed me a button and put a headset on me with instructions to press the button whenever I heard a beep. These beeps were then played at varying decibel and volume levels and I did my very best to listen and press the button in response. The last test required that I repeat words that were spoken by the audiologist with decreasing audibility.
When all was said and done, he sat me down in his official debrief chair and said, “Well, I have a story to tell you. Just like your husband did with you, my wife strongly encouraged me to get my hearing checked. And just like you, I finally relented. So, I’m going to encourage you to give your husband the same response as I did my wife. That is, ‘Well honey, you were right. I have very selective hearing.’” He laughed and went on to tell me that my hearing is perfect. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
With a sigh of relief, and a spring in my step I left his office. And of course, went home to immediately report to my husband.
But it got me to thinking… does the Lord ever get frustrated by my hearing skills? If I’m honest, I can have very selective hearing in that regard as well.
The fact is, God is always speaking to me. He speaks through His Word, through circumstances, through others, through His creation, through dreams, visions, and even donkeys! He speaks through anything He wants! The problem is never whether or not He’s speaking. Rather, it’s whether or not we’re actually hearing what He’s saying. Why is that? I think there are a number of reasons:
- We choose not to listen.
- We’re too busy to listen.
- We’re too impatient to listen.
- We’re afraid of what He might say if we listen.
Sometimes we’re so intent on telling God what’s on our hearts that we don’t listen to what may be on His. Often, we’re in too much of a hurry and we get up and leave the conversation He’s having with us before He’s finished saying what He wants to say.
Whatever the case may be, the Lord has some very important things to say. What’s keeping you from hearing God speak?
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body (Proverbs 4:20-22, NIV).
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Contact Lisa at: firstname.lastname@example.org