In college, I took a few counseling courses and many, many, many, social work courses (that is what my degree is in after all). I recall my very first
The Chinese character for listening includes you, an ear, your eyes, a symbol for king, implying you should treat everyone like a king with your undivided attention, and your heart.
This has never left my memory. As a social worker, when I listen, it is important that I do much more than just hear the words the client is saying. I must listen to them. With my eyes. Watching for any non-verbal clues. My undivided attention must be given to the client speaking to me. Good eye contact, reflecting non-verbal clues such as nodding and restating what has been said. I must also listen to my heart, and for me, that means listening to what God says about this particular person or situation.
But those moments when we really can put away distractions of to-do lists, those electronic rectangles that fill our lives, and our own motivations and really, really listen to something our child says usually ends up being their favorite part of their whole day. It's true. Ethan has told me that on multiple occasions. Every night we ask him what his favorite part of the day was. Almost every night his answer involves a moment of the day where Ben or I have been down on his level and listening, in the full meaning of the word.
(This post was inspired by the prompt featured at Five Minute Friday encouraging us to write for five minutes then stop, resist the urge to edit, and share.)