Monday, June 10, 2013

The Perfect Listener

Losing My Sight
by Lisel Mueller

I never knew that by August
the birds are practically silent,
only a twitter here and there.
Now I notice. Last spring
their noisiness taught me the difference
between screamers and whistlers and cooers
and O, the coloraturas.
I have already mastered
the subtlest pitches in our cat's
elegant Chinese. As the river
turns muddier before my eyes,
its sighs and little smacks
grow louder. Like a spy,
I pick up things indiscriminately:
the long approach of a truck,
car doors slammed in the dark,
the night life of animals—shrieks and hisses,
sex and plunder in the garage.
Tonight the crickets spread static
across the air, a continuous rope
of sound extended to me,
the perfect listener. 

The perfect listener.

Don't we all long to be better at listening? Friends, I can't tell you how this message has been on repeat in my heart recently as I have been thinking and praying on listening and obedience. A sermon recently said that when we train our ear to listen to the "little leanings" from God, we are diligently preparing to be able to hear the big answers that we will certainly ask for in the future. 

When we listen, when we practice listening for the little things, we sharpen our instruments and skills in so many ways. We rely less on sight, on smell, on other senses...we become adept at interpretation and understanding.  I think I often complain about my shortcomings in the other senses, inability to see something or a situation coming, inability to have felt something I should have be aware of.

Perhaps what I really should be doing is listening for instruction.

1 comment:

Andrea Marie Hodgson said...

I don't think we've ever met but I love reading your blog. I have been lurking around it for a while because it's a nice connection to home...the Third Coast, the Baby Apple, Gtown, whatever people are calling it these days.