Monday, November 27, 2006

Listening--a loving gift

"You have ears, then listen!" Matthew 11:15 (NLV)

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. ~ Epictetus

This time of year is difficult for many people who have lost loved ones especially those whose losses have been recent. I remember the first year without my mother. She defined the term "Christmas spirit" and when she died, our family was feeling the loss deeply as Christmas approached. True to her nature, Mom had already purchased gifts for us a few months before her death in September. As we opened gifts that year, we shared what Mom had done in years past. We told stories of her successful and not so successful gift hiding, her traditional dinners, and other stories that brought smiles and chuckles as we remembered Mom's Christmas adventures.

Telling the stories we remember about a loved one helps to ease that great pain of loss. A good listener will help another through their sadness at holiday time by encouraging those stories and then listening--really listening, as they are told. Listening--what a great gift to offer another this year.

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