Are You Listening?

Hot tiny hands warm both sides of my cheeks, smooth and just a little bit forceful. They pull my face upward from where I sit engrossed in my screen so our eyes are even. Hers, translucent blue like a sun-glinting lake, bright and sparkling, search intently.

“Lift your face up and look at me,” she insists, pressuring her hands against my face.

Our noses almost touch. If I let my eyes blur I can make two granddaughters swim like a mirage in front of me, rather than the pint sized one.

Her hair shines so white I can’t resist touching. I move a silken strand from where it parts her face down the middle and move it behind her ear, then let the pure softness curl through my fingers before they drop again to my keyboard.

“Grandma,” Her hands flutter down like a butterfly. She pats them against my legs. “Listen.”

Have you not known? Have you not heard?” Isaiah 40:28 (ESV).

My hands pause over the keys of the computer.

“Listen.”

I close my computer without looking at it and set it on the little round side table. I harness my “in the cloud” thoughts to focus into earnest blue eyes inches from mine.

“The Lord is the everlasting God,

    the Creator of the ends of the earth.”

“Listen.”

“He does not faint or grow weary;

    his understanding is unsearchable.” (Isaiah 40:28)

God repeatedly calls for the attention of His people in Scriptures. “Hear, O Israel,” He begins in what Jesus repeated as the most important commandment.

“…The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” (Mk. 12:29-30).

And in the ensuing little girl jabbering, I am arrested by the need to listen, to not wander, to stop ping-pong thoughts that ricochet the corners of my mind.

Because how can I possibly love Jesus unreservedly, heart, soul, mind and strength if I can’t afford him my complete attention?

Is there a connection between how well we listen to others and how well we listen to God?

She jabbers while I close my eyes and try to imagine what it would be like to have Jesus here, today with me, His nail pierced hands beckoning me to look at Him and listen. What would I say? What would He say? Would my relationship be unfettered and free, familiar as is my granddaughter with me?

Attention demonstrates a heart of love. 

Close it up, put it down, turn it off. Focus shows devotion and respect, otherwise camouflaged, unacknowledged or unrealized. It tethers thoughts batted about like a ball around a pole, one way and then another till it wraps around its anchor.

The Lord, God, the One who desires to harness my complete intensity of thought and emotion, deserves each molecule of my being.

“Lift your face up and look at me.” 

Are you listening?



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