Available to be.Posted: February 5, 2012
I watched a TV program once, or maybe it was part of a film. It was many years ago now… but it spoke a lesson to me, which has been rattling inside me since. And this week it really hit home once again.
In this program a young girl lost her voice, and she started out being very frustrated by it, but because she couldn’t talk, and therefore couldn’t go about her normal daily activities (she was a singer in the program I think), people would come and sit by her. At first they would just let out odd comments, but slowly they began to open up to her. After a day or two she began to give in to her circumstances, and she used her weakness to her advantage. She listened to people, people would come and tell her their thoughts and fears, they’d open up to her, tell her their excitements, share all their joys and their sorrows. All she could do was sit and listen, and occasionally she would nod, or give them a hug, or a smile. She learnt a lot during those few days, and it changed her character, but it also really blessed those around her. Having someone who was there, not to judge, not to try and fix things, but just to listen.
It made me think, how available am I to people? How willing am I to just listen? How well do I hold back on judgements? How many people around me are just in need of an ear? It’s shaped my life from that moment (yeah even as a teenage I read far too much into TV shows!) I try to be intentional about being available, about being flexible, about being quick to listen, free to love, and slow to speak. I more often than not miss the mark, and although this lesson has stuck with me and gone round and round my thoughts, it’s not always been acted on as intentionally as other times.
This week I was sick, stuck at home, stuck in bed. I missed my friends, my church, my family, the people I do life with. I wished I could go out, socialise, fellowship, “serve”, actively being. I remembered that lesson. I couldn’t do things, but I could be, and I could still be available. Throughout the week I had numerous phone calls, emails, texts, conversations with people. Just wanting an ear, needing to share. I listened (there wasn’t much else I could do!), and I prayed. I had visitors throughout the week, people who popped by and would end up telling me a tale, or a decision before them, or some other situation, and asking for prayer. I felt useless, not being able to do anything. But I was available, and my availability led to a big blessing. I sought God, I bought the pleas of others before him, I lent my ears to others, and in my sickness I was too lethargic to judge, or speak.
It was like that lessons from years ago hit me again. Be available. Stop doing, stop trying to fix it, stop trying to work it out, stop judging. Be available.