Grammy Nominated Artist, Storyteller & Motivational Entertainer

We Will Listen

I met some long-time friends, Kent and Maureen Wildman, for dinner last night at a restaurant in Franklin. As we were walking in, I noticed this sign on the window of the store next door. It stopped me dead in my tracks.

Three simple words… We Will Listen.

Maureen approached the owner so I followed. When she asked why the sign, he answered, “Cause we do.”  Three more simple words. I told him, “I don’t own a bike but I just may buy one now, so I can come in this store. All because of your sign.”

I was challenged to ask myself where I am on the listening scale?

James doesn’t talk much because of his disabilities, so I don’t have to listen much, at least on an audible level. But what about listening with my heart? To James, or to anyone for that matter.  What are my friends saying (or not saying) that I should be hearing? And do they all know that I am someone that will listen?

Years ago, before acceptance was a part of my daily vocabulary with James, I would cry because I felt so lost and afraid and angry.

And one of the most comforting things someone once said to me was, “I hear you.”

That’s it. Those words lingered in the air around me and for a moment, lifted the heavy burden off my heart and held it ever so briefly. They didn’t try to fix it, or make me feel better, they just said, “I hear you.”

We had a lovely meal and fabulous conversation. We laughed and cried and they let me babble about my crazy life. And they listened.  Old friends, the ones who knew you when you barely knew yourself, and stuck with you when you always thought you were right when you couldn’t have been more wrong – those friends – yeah, they rock.

On my drive home after dinner, I realized that, as usual, I did most of the talking.  (Us creative types usually just want to make sure the mic is on so we can be heard.)

So today, I want to hang a sign on the window of my heart.

This is my prayer; to listen more closely to James, to my friends and to the conversation that life itself is trying to have with me.