Hearing Vs. Listening

Yet another week Pure Heart Nicaragua 2014has passed in Nicaragua, the Land of Volcanoes and Lakes. Geography aside, Nicaragua is a land of really fantastic people with magnificent resources.

We were blessed with the visit of missionaries from Kenya Africa, our lifelong friends, Steve and Diann Warne. What I always notice about them is that they are both EXCELLENT listeners. Even in a land of 49 different tribal languages, they have success working with everyone. EVERYBODY LOVES THEM! (makes me jealous). Even though they may not necessarily be able to speak the language, they take the time to really listen. LISTENING IN ANY LANGUAGE SAYS, ´I LOVE YOU´. Even in English, they LISTEN more than they talk. Most people when they go to another country want to speak the language of that country so they can bludgeon the poor native speakers into submission with their own opinions and thoughts. LISTENING to people shows you care about them. Just HEARING them shows you really don´t. Unless you care about people, the only people that will want to be with you are people looking for money or things, not a relationship.

My kids are in a school run by Germans and fast becoming tri-lingual. English, German and Spanish. Because they are learning a third language they are very INTERESTED in languages, and therefore LISTENING very closely to words in all three languages, and analyzing them. They have very interesting questions that usually stump me so much that I just give them a stupid answer. Because of their interest in languages, they HEAR a lot of things that I´ve been LISTENING TO to for 57 years but have never actually HEARD– ONE of the many things they have noticed is that in all the languages, listening are hearing are two completely different things.

For example, our son Dean Jr. When he was a little baby he would cry at night, I would HEAR him, (and start thinking of ways to STOP hearing him, ie Duct Tape and a rolled up sock). My wife would LISTEN to him, and be able to tell if he had a dirty diaper, was hungry or just had a bad dream and run to the rescue. She LISTENED because she´s a mom,, I just HEARD cause I´m a dad.

Mr. Google says Hearing is the process of perceiving sound produced by any sound source in the environment while listening is the process of deriving meaning from organized sounds. Listening is also more complicated and entailing than hearing.In other words. Hearing is more work. If you don´t care, you won´t work at it.

So I say all that to say we don´t take the time to LISTEN to the kids or others, you really don´t care about them. They don´t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care. The close we walk with others, the closer we walk with the Lord.

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