Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to Not Be an Ant: Listening Lesson- Part 1

Okay, so as you know, I've been attempting to put into practice these "Listening as a Spiritual Practice" exercises- and the other day, I find myself at the Dollar store...

I had my cart loaded with items and was leaving the store when I realized that the cart had one of those poles on it that prevents you from taking it out of the store. I was stopped dead in my tracks at the door. I quickly began grabbing as many bags as I could carry to my car and as I looked behind me was horrified to see that I was inadvertently blocking someone else's exit from the store. I made a point to look directly into her eyes and smile as I apologized for my blocking her progress.

I think that the fact that I addressed her personally and intentionally, rather than just robotically saying a quick "Oops, I'm sorry" as I looked at the floor, made a huge difference in her response.

She said, "Where's your car?" and then began picking up the remainder of my shopping bags.

When we got to the car, I thanked her profusely and asked her her name; then, addressing her by name, I again thanked her profusely telling her that I wished I could repay her kindness.

"Just keep me in your prayers," she said as she turned to walk to her car.

"Cheryl, anything in specific you want me to pray for?" I called out to her as she was walking away.

She stopped dead in her tracks, turned back around and began walking back across the parking lot to me.

And so, in the parking lot outside of the Dollar Tree, this perfect stranger shared her concern for the salvation of her sons with me... And right there in the bright sunlight of a beautiful August morning on Main street in Newark, DE- I gave her a promise from scripture (Isaiah 54:13- all your children will be raised in peace) and we agreed in prayer, thanking God for his promise to raise her children according to that scripture.

We then gave each other a "high five," and got into our cars and drove away- both of us forever changed...

Wow. I'm sold. What a difference this makes!

I will continue to update you on my further progress...


1 comment:

  1. I guess when we think of the ant we think of busyness. Proverbs does use the ant as a contrast to the sluggard (Proverbs 6:6). Yet, in your story above I see another aspect of the ant - taking the time to stop. My grandmother used to tell me to look at the ant and see that one ant never passed another without pausing. She said this to remind me that we need to greet other people along the way and not just pass them by. Not quite listening I agree, but you did stop. More to the point, it is amazing what God can do when we listen.


Thanks for commenting. I am honored that you have come over to spend a little time at the Nacreous Kingdom. Your comments will be posted after I get the pleasure of getting the first read. So tune back in soon...Peace!