Are You Listening?

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
                         —Mark 4:9

President Franklin Roosevelt loathed formal reception lines at the White House. All show no substance. People don’t hear a word you say, he complained.

One day his mischievous side won out. Each time he shook a person’s hand he whispered, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.”

“Keep up the good work.”

“We’re proud of you.”

“God bless you, sir.”

Finally, the ambassador from Bolivia actually heard him and said, “I’m sure she had it coming.”

The story is probably spurious. Nevertheless, it makes a good point. Some of us aren’t very good at listening to each other—or to God.

Listening is one thing; hearing quite another.

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