One Monday morning a few weeks ago I was sitting in my living room, drinking coffee, working on a post when my oldest daughter came flying down the stairs. She had just gotten out of the shower, her hair was soaking wet and she was wrapped in a towel. She was yelling, “There’s a buck…”, but what I heard was, “There’s a bug…” She continued on, “in the back yard,” but my brain finished with, “in the bathroom.”
She took off with her iPhone to the kitchen trying to find the right position to take pictures. I, on the other hand jumped up off the couch in search of a fly swatter and a roll of paper towels. I took off up the stairs thinking that this must be one gross, mutant bug if she’s not coming with me, but she was standing at the back door staring outside trying to show me what was going on. It took several seconds for my mind to shift gears, but once it did here is what I saw:
It’s a little hard to see, but he really had a fairly large set of antlers. We live in the city limits so this was so amazing to see in our back yard. Sadly, The Great Hunter was at work and had to settle for pictures.
The next weekend was our annual girls’ getaway (I mentioned last year’s trip in a previous post Invited In). Without totally humiliating myself let me just say I had two more episodes where people said one thing, but I heard another. One girl friend told another, “Nice pearls,” but I heard, “Nice purse.” The whole time she was telling this sweet story about the pearls I kept thinking, “Poor thing, she thought she asked about her pearls.” The second incident happened at dinner when someone said, “…it was a B12 deficiency,” and I heard, “…it was beached whale deficiency!” I was blessed to be with friends who love me and enjoy a good laugh. (If at this moment you are at all concerned for me please know that my friends are praying for my hearing and my husband is saving money and taking donations for the hearing test I am obviously going to need in the future.)
What I found interesting about all three of these “episodes”, besides how funny they were, was how what I heard immediately caused my mind to think in completely the wrong direction. Not only did I think in the wrong direction, but then my actions were determined by what I was thinking. Let’s face it, a fly swatter and a roll of paper towels are not what I needed to take pictures of that beautiful deer in our back yard.
It has made me think about how often I face situations without all the facts and begin to make decisions or take action based on faulty information. I’ve also been pondering how easy it is to make assumptions based only on part of the facts and how dangerous and hurtful it can be to those around me. My “hearing episodes” above are funny, but it’s not so funny when I walk in on my kids in the middle of a disagreement and start doling out punishment without knowing the whole story. It’s also not funny when I assume I know what someone else is thinking and judge them for it.
Father, You are the only One who sees all and knows all. You alone search and try our hearts. Give us the grace to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Let us see and hear with hearts full of Your grace towards others.