Thursday, July 16, 2009
Listen and Learn
Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love
As you may have read in my last post, my wife and I just returned from a week’s vacation. You may also know from previous posts that my mama passed away six months ago today.
Mama had been homebound for many years, and my father stayed by her side until the end of her mortal life. He sacrificed a lot in doing so. He passed up opportunities to go places, visit people and just get out of the house because he didn’t want to leave her alone.
Because of his sacrifice and dedication, my wife and I decided we’d invite dad to go with us on our trip to California. It took him awhile to make up his mind that it was okay to get away from his troubles and relax, but he finally did make up his mind.
I learned a lot about dad on this trip. When it was my turn to drive, he’d sit in the front passenger seat and tell me all sorts of stories. I learned much about dad as a child, as a young man and as a sailor in World War II. It was an experience I’ll always cherish.
I wonder how things would have turned out under different circumstances. I wonder what I would have missed if I had chosen to plug in my MP3 player or crank up the radio rather than just sit and listen to dad talk.
I would have missed many nuggets of fatherly wisdom, and plain old fun stories.
So, here’s your challenge today:
Someone needs to talk. Today, your challenge is to listen.
Whether they have anything profound or groundbreaking to say doesn’t matter.
Let them know you’re listening. Encourage them to talk more. Ask questions. Prod them for details. Really try to understand and appreciate what they’re telling you.
That’s it. That’s the challenge for today.
Thank you for listening – or rather, reading. Thank you for being willing to pass on my challenges and for inviting others to come and read.
And thank you especially for remembering that Service is The Action Form of Love.