Listening

Somewhere this week, I read “Documentary filmmaker Valarie Kaur on listening: ‘Deep listening is an act of surrender. We risk being changed by what we hear.'”

I try to note where I found a quote, but this week is a time of much reading to prepare my mind for writing a nonfiction book. I jotted this quote in a notebook called “Picturesque Speech,” which Charlie Shedd recommended writers keep, in his book If I Can Write, You Can Write.

His book is copyrighted in 1984 by Charlie W. Shedd, published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH.

I looked through my current books, and decided I saw the quote by Valarie Kaur on Facebook. Not that I knew anything about her or her stance in life. I know a little now from getting on Facebook.

I’m trying to listen more closely to my husband, because sometimes he tells me I don’t listen to him. Or, I’ll exclaim over a revolutionary idea that will be an answer to a dilemma and he’ll tell me he told me that–many times before. “Really?”

I guess I wasn’t ready to hear it at that time. In the book of Proverbs, it speaks often about listening. (Proverbs 1:33, CEV) says, “But if you listen to me, you will be safe and secure without fear of disaster.” That is Wisdom speaking.

Proverbs is a book in the Old Testament written mostly by King Solomon, the wisest man in the world, but not perfectly wise. Too many women led him astray. Following false gods because of the ladies he married, or because of his concubines caused him a severe depression as he aged. Thus, we get the book of Ecclesiastes. By the end of Ecclesiastes, he tells people to remember God.

Solomon didn’t listen to his father, David. He also made wrong choices, but the Bible tells us David was a man after God’s heart. David listened to the prophet Nathan, when he confronted King David about a couple of terrible sins. David repented and faced some harsh consequences. Maybe he didn’t talk to Solomon much. His parenting skills suffered. The Bible doesn’t hide human foibles.

If someone you know offers you some great advice, I hope you will hear them. I’m not sure why I didn’t hear my husband those times. Maybe I wasn’t ready to make a change. Not listening can cause consequences. Good or bad, depending on the wisdom of the one doing the talking.

Proverbs talks about avoiding hours drinking alcohol and missing out on life. Proverbs tells the sons of Solomon to be faithful to their wife, even unto their elder years. I like that one! How to invest money. How to plant crops. How to manage time. So many categories. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” is early in the book of Proverbs. Maybe you and I will read from this book and “hear” something we will want to act upon, for our good. I read Scripture aloud sometimes as I pray for understanding. Maybe you do, too.

I pray this finds you well! God bless!

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