My husband works out of town and is home on weekends. It’s always a comfort to see his hearing aides in “their spot” at bedtime because I know he’ll be here when I wake up. I look at those hearing aides and remember the days before he had them.

The volume at our house wasn’t measured by soft or loud… it was steady yelling. He thought he was speaking softly. He was yelling. I tried speaking softly until I repeated myself three times with increasing volume. He didn’t hear me until I was yelling. 

Despite the obvious hearing impairment, I would inevitably get grumpy with him for not listening to me. I often failed to see that he really would like to have heard me clearly. I collected a lot of frustration from what seemed to be poor listening when he just had poor hearing.

Seeing the hearing aides laying in the dish tonight reminded me that I often hear without listening. When my teenager raises his voice, I hear an unacceptable attitude. I don’t listen to what he’s trying to communicate through the obstacles of hormones and navigating a world that’s changing quickly for him. When someone shares a prayer request or a struggle, I hear their concern but I don’t listen to their heartache. I have no excuse. I’m not hearing impaired; I’m listening impaired.

I especially get out of sorts when I don’t hear from God. It’s not that He’s gone silent, I’m just not listening. I need to use the hearing aides He provides… His word, the nudging of His spirit, admonition or encouragement from a friend. 

I’m thankful for my husband’s hearing aides and for the aides God has given me to be a better listener. It doesn’t hurt to hear from God, but it doesn’t benefit if we don’t listen. 

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