Earlier this year, one of our dear nieces and her husband visited us from Argentina. We had a lot of catching up to do, and enjoyed great conversations. At one point, when she and I were alone, she asked me, “Tía, (That means “Aunt” in Spanish) when you talk, does Tío Jorge really listen to you?”
Many wives can definitely relate to that question! We talk to our spouse, explain, complain, ramble, babble and vent…until we see that familiar expressionless look on his face. His glazed-over eyes, even though they are looking at us, are evidence that his mind is absent. Fishing? His job? The car? What’s next on his to-do list? His ears hear us, but he’s not listening. That’s the reality. Eventually we learn how to get him to listen to the most important of our monologues, and respond to them. (Not to discourage anyone who reads this, but it may take years. Be patient!)
When asked by one of the Scribes which commandment is most important, Jesus replied: “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.” Mark 12:29,30 NKJV) These verses are known as the “Shema”, which comes from a Hebrew word that means “to hear”. The Shema was part of God’s message to His people before they entered the Promised Land. He knew that we – male and female alike – tend to let things go in one ear and out the other. The first word of the most important commandment is “Hear”. God wanted them – and us – to hear that commandment and all of His words with our ears, so we can willingly respond with our hearts and lives.
Without glazed over eyes and wandering thoughts, let’s listen, really listen to the Shema and the totality of God’s Word. When we really listen, we’ll be in a good position to obey Him. Listen…really listen!