Listening To Others–A Lost Art

When my physician retired, I faced the arduous task of replacing him. I asked friends for recommendations, surfed the internet for reviews, and plotted locations for the commute. At last I chose a doctor based on a friend’s referral, disregarding the fact that this provider worked for a large, collective of physicians with outlets as numerous as coffee kiosks.

The moment I entered I knew I’d made a mistake.  Not interested in hearing my health history, the doctor recited every test and immunization known to man. As though she had a quota to meet, she emphasized my need to participate in each suggestion. When I offered input, she rejected the query with sarcasm. I left feeling like a cadaver that had been probed for signs of life.

 The bill she submitted to my insurance company made me gasp. A charge for every procedure she’d named was listed—to the tune of nearly five hundred dollars. Divide that sum by fifteen minutes and. . .well, you get the picture.

Beginning again, I studied my original list and found another doctor I’d overlooked in my earlier search. She’d substituted for my retiring physician whenever he took vacations. Though I’d never been seen by her, I trusted my former doctor’s wisdom and decided to take a chance.

As night is different from day, this doctor cared about my concerns from the onset. She listened to me, offered advice, and commended me for the actions I’d taken to guard my own health. Ever the professional, she treated me like a human being, a friend with whom she journeyed this planet. All because she took the time to listen.

God’s word tells us He wants us to listen. In Isaiah 55:2b-3 (NKJV) we read: “Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good. And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to me. Hear, and your soul shall live. And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—”

Who needs you to listen today?  Giving your attention to someone who’s anxious to be heard is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow. Who knows? God might wait for an opening to speak.




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