All Because She Listened

"Well, kids, great-grandpa and great-grandma will be home when we get there to have dinner with us," Linda said while driving home from church.

"I know," complained Robb, her 14-year-old.

"Oh, Robb, don't be selfish," she started to plead in her most wistful voice. But just as she said, "Don't be self .... " she checked her condemnation.

"What?" asked Robb.

This was her chance. Instead, she asked, "You don't want Grandpa to come?"

"No," sighed Robb. Then after a pause he added, "I get so nervous around him."

"You get nervous around him? I understand. I do, too." Grandpa is a quiet man, a writer, and a deep thinker. He seldom has anything to say to children. "But we've lived away for twenty-five years, and I want to get to know him better before he dies," Linda added.

"I know," Robb said and then he was silent.

Linda continued. "I wish I could help you get over your nervousness around Grandpa. He likes you."

"He likes me?" asked Robb in surprise.

"Yes, he likes all three of you kids because you're so quiet. He doesn't go other places where they are children but Grandma said yesterday that he was eager to come here."

When they reached home, Robb was the first one inside the door, and he welcomed his grandparents enthusiastically. He was attentive all afternoon instead of going to his room as usual.

The next Sunday, Robb said, "I wish great-grandma and grandpa were coming to dinner." A complete turn around! Linda wondered, "Was it because I managed to stop condemning, be accepting and really listen?"

Dear Jesus, please help us to actively listen to everyone around us, especially to those in our home.

"He who answers before listening--that is his folly and his shame" (Proverbs 18:13).