After getting married, having children and becoming the very thing I told her (at age 9) I wanted to be when I grew up, we would run into each other from time to time. She never married. Later in life she adopted a son who was the same age as my second son Keith. My children were very small when my husband and children had the priviledge of meeting her while eating at the same restaurant. They felt as if they already knew her because I spoke of her often. The last time I saw her was at a high school football game (1991) where both our sons, Freddie and Keith played in the same band. I didn't know it would be my last time. We moved to a different school district and we lost touch.
From time to time, I would bring up the conversation Miss Flores had with us in class one day about "hearing vs listening" with my husband and children. She told us that you can "hear" many things at the same time. We could "hear" her speaking, the birds outside singing, someone tapping on the desk, the pencil sharpener, all at the SAME time. But, you can only "listen" to ONE thing at a time and comprehend. For example: I talk to my husband all the time right in the middle of a play during the football game. After I've said what I wanted to say, I would ask "are you listening to me?" he says "yes" then I'd ask "what did I say?" he couldn't tell me because he wasn't "listening" to ME. He "heard" me (along with the tv I was watching in the other room, because he had asked me to turn it down) but he was "listening" and "comprehending" the game. He would always have the last word though by asking "can we have this conversation after the game?" But, my final last words (while leaving the room) would be... "by then it will be to late and it wouldn't matter".
As Christians, it is painful to think that this is an accusation against believers who are spiritually insensitive. We should regret that we do not hear the voice of God as we should. there are gentle motions of the Holy Spirit in the soul that often go unheeded. There are whispers of divine commands and of heavenly love that are ignored. We have been carelessly ignorant. There are situations we should have seen, iniquities that went unnoticed, sweet feelings left unattended. We missed glimpses of His divine face because our soul's windows were fogged. We did not hear or know because we were preoccupied with other sounds in our ears. As we think about it we are deeply humbled. God deals with us in mercy. Even with His awesome sacrifice He knew what we would be like. Isaiah 48:6-9
Oh redemption, how wonderfully resplendent you shine when I think of how sinful we are! Oh Holy Spirit, give us the "hearing" ear and the understanding heart that "listens".