As I pulled a book from our library a tattered piece of yellowed paper slipped to the floor. I retrieved it and briefly read the article from years ago discovering that the message spoke to me afresh. Immediately I thought of sharing it with you, my Blogger-Readers Family.
The story was shared by lecturer Leo Buscaglia regarding a contest he was asked to judge with the purpose of finding the most caring child. A four year old little boy was the winner. His next door neighbor was an elderly man who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went to visit his neighbor, climbed onto his lap and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy replied, “Nothing. I just helped him cry.”
This was another gentle reminder about the importance of listening and just being present with someone grieving the loss of a loved one, including loss of pets, recovering from surgery or loss of employment, etc. Genuine tears convey a strong message as well as uttered words.
The article continued with the following gemstones matched with scripture references. I used the modern NIV translation of the scriptures except for the paraphrase marked (The Message).
- Listen Without Interrupting:
“Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.” Prov. 18:13; (The Message)
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” Prov. 19:20
2. Speak Without Accusing:
“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear…” James. 1:19 (The Message)
3. Answer Without Arguing:
” A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with
quarrels. Prov. 17:1 (The Message)
4, Enjoy Without Complaining: “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God…Col. 3:13-14
5. Promise Without Forgetting:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
6. Forgive Without Punishing: “…Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another…” Col. 3:12-13
7. Pray Without Ceasing: “…Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Col. 1:9
We can all improve our listening and speaking etiquette which hone our caring and communication skills. Many express how much receiving cards and notes via snail mail and social media, but we don’t always have addresses and like the story goes, the 4 year old only had his presence and his heart at his disposal. If there’s one resolution that could be on every year’s list, it’s being alert to others’ special needs and be acutely aware that our genuine concern displaying our patient listening and kindly spoken words keeps the world around us more peaceful and joyful. In the arms of God’s eternal love we find our place of peace.
I’d be delighted to hear if this aged piece of wisdom from this story confirms what’s already routine with you or if you are newly encouraged to refine your positive approach to relationships—our blogs' main focus.