"Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say."
Children have an uncanny ability to hear selectively.
"Daniel, time to start your homework," I call to my son from the kitchen. He is in our living room engrossed in building with his Legos.
One minute. Two minutes.
"Daniel! Didn't you hear me?"
"Hear what, Mom?"
"Time for homework. You can play when it's finished."
One minute. Two minutes. Still, no Daniel.
"Daniel!" I shout this time. "Get in this kitchen right now!"
I mean business. He knows it.
In he trots and stops in front of me, an angelic smile on his face.
"Did you need me, Mom?"
"Of course, I do. I need you to do your homework. Now!"
"I thought you said I could do it when I'm finished playing?"
"No, that's not what I said. Didn't you hear me?"
"I heard you, Mom. Guess I just didn't understand."
Ten minutes pass. Daniel is busily and intently working on math problems at the kitchen table.
The phone rings from its built-in shelf in our tiny hallway. I hastily wipe my soapy, dishwater hands on a towel and sprint to answer it.
"Hello? Oh, hi, Mom!"
My mother calls to get some gift ideas for Christmas. My voice sinks to a low, almost inaudible whisper as I share my thoughts as to what Daniel and daughter, Sarah, might like.
I don't want him to hear . . .
Startled, I drop the receiver, clattering, to the floor.
"Tell Nana I want the Lego Pirate ship for Christmas. Thanks!"
When you read scripture, are you hearing only what you want to hear, or are you seeking for true understanding?
Will you pray with me?
When we read Your Word, Father, let us hear Your voice speaking to us, cutting through all our preconceived notions and half-truths. Grant us the grace to listen and understand with open and humble hearts. Thank you for never listening selectively to our prayers, but embracing and hearing them all. Amen.
Psalms 88 or 91, 92
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