She says it aloud to no one in particular, “I need a ride home.”
I ask her when she needs to leave. She says after she talks to Mrs F. Let me know when you’re ready, I tell her. I’ll take you.
I’m not proud of myself for my willingness to do it. I’m excited I thought of it at all.
Because often I don’t even think of it.
And especially in the moment. Maybe the idea will come later. Oh! I could have done that for her! By then, I’ve missed the opportunity for action.
My preemptive roadblocks of fear and selfishness and pride often choke off the action before it has a chance to surface.
Granted, having a homeless friend and knowing what she needs hasn’t exactly been a thought to consider until the past decade of my life.
How can I know what to do for somebody so different from me?
First, I have to listen.
- I have to hear with ears wide open.
- I have to see with eyes looking deeper.
- I have to love with a heart gaping bare.
Then I can act.
God watches as the extraordinary grabs my attention.
A half hour later, I get word my friend is ready to leave. She has a guy friend with her who also needs a ride back to under the bridge.
I ask his name as he gets into the car. He tells me, but he’s quiet. I ask a few more questions, wanting him to know I’m listening, not wanting him more wary of me than I am of him.
He needs to know he’s being heard. Everybody needs that.
My friend tells me to turn left at the light. It still feels weird letting them out at the curb, watching them melt invisible into the city. But they’re fine with it; it’s me still adjusting.
And I almost missed it.
I roll down my windows and drive away, wondering how in the world I know so little about the world. So little about the different kinds of people in it. So little about how God works among them, in them, around them.
I ask for better hearing in the moments of opportunity.
So I can . . .
- Learn more.
- Live more.
- Love more.
Because when I don’t listen, I don’t act.
And when I don’t act, I miss out on Love.
* * *
revised from the archives
- 3 Ways to Listen So People Will Talk
Discover 3 ways to quiet down so you can hear the hearts of others.
- Wherever Truth Comes From, Listen
Don’t ignore the message, even if you don’t like the messenger.
- Why They Listen to You
They’re listening for something. Why to you?
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When Donna was hurt by the lack of her friend’s listening ear, she looked at the difference between hearing and deep listening. Read all of Donna’s reflective post here at her blog, then link up your own blog posts below.
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