Monday, July 31, 2006

Listen--for opportunities to encourage

"If you have ears, listen!" Matthew 13:9 (TLB)

Opportunities are often missed because we are broadcasting when we should be listening. ~ Author Unknown

She was unmarried, a single mom and obviously pregnant. It was a busy morning at the restaurant where we usually have Saturday morning breakfast. We struck up a conversation about the upcoming birth. There was a sweet-sour note to her voice and hesitation as she talked of her due date. I, the encourager, was trying to bolster her confidence in facing the impending labor and delivery and began retelling my stories about the births of my children.

Weeks later, we learned that the new mother had been struggling with a decision that was life changing for her and her unborn child. Knowing she could not raise the baby on her own, she had chosen to let him be adopted by a family desperately wanting a child.

In all the Saturday mornings when we saw her, I could have been a better encourager if I had been a better listener. I was broadcasting more than I was listening. I have ears. I just forgot they were for listening.

(copyright 2006 Karen Robbins)

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