listen very carefully…

Yes, I know you’ve all been desperate for another bloggage from yours truly, well I hope this is worth its wait on hold.

SONY DSC

My Dad asked me for some information about a new bicycle seat I had bought, which was lovely and comfy for those of us who would rather not sit on the edge of a razor blade (aka a racing saddle). I sent him a text message with the link, but for some reason it didn’t show up on his phone. So he sent me a message asking for the information again. The text arrived while I was driving around Plymouth on empty roads at a gentle pace so I asked my hands free system to read it out for me. After I had listened the system asked me if I would like to dictate a response. As the roads were still clear I decided to do so. This is what it sent:

“Sorry about that. I can see a reference to it in my message to you. But perhaps your phone can’t cope with that message. I will send you an email with the details. Lots of love boobs.”

Now I ought to explain that one of my childhood nicknames was ‘Dougal’ because I liked the Magic Roundabout on TV and used to crawl around fast in circles like Dougal the dog on that show. Later that got shortened to ‘Doogz’. But the phone dictation system didn’t know ‘Doogz’ so it sent the nearest equivalent!

I wonder how often we fail to listen properly to other people, or to God, and then approximate an understanding of what we think was said? It’s a bit more nuanced that my phone…

When we ask someone how they are and they say, “Fine,” do we listen to their tone of voice, watch their body language and look into their eyes to see if they mean it or are just giving a knee-jerk response, or do we take it at face value and move on without asking how they really are?

A while ago I failed to read the body language and tone of voice and didn’t realise that when someone was telling me they were going on holiday what they really wanted was for me to show some interest and ask about their plans. Instead I replied with what I thought was a fair answer and said that I hoped they would have a lovely time. I had closed down the conversation rather than opening it up further.

And yesterday, when I was with my Spiritual Director, he asked me about my prayer life. I thought it was going quite well and I explained about the apps I use to help me (eg Lectio 365) and how I try to have a conversation with God throughout the day, especially when my thoughts are prompted about someone or something. My SD then asked me whether I spend any time just sitting in God’s presence in silence… ah… well… no. Not really. So I am resolved to try and do that more often. It may not be a long time at first, but I can build that time in, and give him chance to tell me what’s on his heart rather than listening to me all the time.

Be blessed, be surgical dressing a blessing.