I have often listened to and judged others who seemed to be in the mode of "helping". I have recently learned that I seem to have the same flaw that I judge others for. I say too much and listen too little. I don't see them. I see me.
This morning we went to church and like any other Sunday we went to the same class that we normally do. As we entered we noticed that the tables had been rearranged. This made me uncomfortable. I was pushed out of my comfort zone as I tried to figure out where we would "normally" sit.
I saw a familiar face and said, "Hello, how are you?"
The reply put me in that "uncomfortable" zone. He said he wasn't good. He said, "I lost my job three weeks ago". He had two seats right next to him. That wasn't where we had ever sat before.
I told him I would be praying for him and went to sit at a table. It didn't feel right. That pesky thing was poking me with a sharp needle at the back of my brain and heart.
Finally I turned and looked at my husband and said, "Let's go sit next to Jack". We sat and I started over. "What kind of work are you looking for, Jack?" Jack quickly replied that he was willing to work fast food or anywhere. The job he'd just lost was because he couldn't lift heavy things any longer. His diabetes is worsening. His health is dwindling.
We paused for a bit of silence and he talked about his mother and his brothers.
The class teacher began delivering his message and my heart and ears were opened. I wondered if Jack was listening to the teacher or if his heart was so torn up that he couldn't concentrate. I wondered what to do next. I prayed that God would show me.
As class wrapped up I asked Jack for his address and phone number. He said his phone was not working but gave me his address. I gave him your number, Elia. I told him you might be able to help him. I asked him if he had food. He said no. I said that Cody and I would bring him some today.
As church came to a close, a woman I hadn't ever seen before approached me. She said, "Did I hear you ask that man if he had groceries?" I nodded in surprise. "Here. I want to contribute." She handed me $20. "Thank you for listening to him. God bless you."
Jack seemed surprised to see us at his door. His beautiful smile penetrated my heart and fed my soul.
I am thankful today for new eyesight and new ears. Elia, yesterday, hearing you ask Ashley her hopes and dreams not only trained me but renewed me. So very many times I say the wrong things. I forget how to listen, how to see. Thank you for your eyes, thank you for your ears.