Leaning In

I recently read a blog from a Facebook link. It was about a foster child punching another child, and the mother of the injured child calls the boy’s foster mom. The call was unusual and unexpected. The injured child’s mom invited the boy over for a play date. They wanted to make sure the boy knew that even though his actions hurt, that he was still loved.

You can read the whole story here: http://www.thehouseofhendrix.com/2015/10/11/lean-in-to-kids/

This story really hit home with me.  The usual reaction when we or someone we love is hurt, is to be angry. To demand an apology. To want compensation. The anger we feel needs to be satisfied. Our righteousness in the matter needs to be recognized. The foster child needs to be cast aside as unworthy.  Unloveable.  What is happening in the foster child’s life does not matter …

How often have we encountered people who rub us the wrong way? Their actions may inconvenience us, cause us pain or anger us. So we pull away. What if we didn’t? Like the mother above, what if we leaned in and loved this person? What if we invested effort and time into this person to show that they mattered?

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Driving school bus exposes me to some children who have been the worst part of my day. The highlight of my day was when I dropped them at school or at home. Their behaviour got on every nerve I had. Just seeing them caused my irritation to rise. So recently I tried to lean in. It was not natural. It was painful and through gritted teeth. I made conversation with them. I said “good morning” and “good night”. I watched them with different eyes. Over the days the teeth gritting stopped. The irritation went away. I saw problems that could be fixed to make the children happier. It was an experiment with great results for them and me.

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We don’t always know what causes people to behave the way they do at times. Our lives are so busy, it is easier to walk away and move on with those we get along with. If Jesus had done that, there would be no one to follow Him. Jesus ate and talked with the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the lepers, the adulterous woman, thieves, murderers … Jesus leaned in.

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The Perfect Disability

Hi, my name is Shari and I am hearing impaired … I imagine a whole room of people in my support group going “What?” “Huh?” or Speak up!” It’s ok. You can laugh at that. In this world of political correctness, we are hard pressed to even laugh at ourselves and see the brighter side of things without being hauled off to the “Fall In Line With The World View Academy of Reform”.

I have a sensory hearing loss. It is unrepairable and will gradually worsen as I age. It is also a source of amusement as I can hear sounds but without reading lips it is by guess and by golly as to what you said.  It often takes me a few seconds to process your conversation and find the words I missed. So I laugh at your jokes a little after everyone else. Then there is the rhyming game. Did they call Shari? Or was it Barry or Gerry … Then there are the whole conversations I missed but thought of later myself and tried to start again …

I have hearing aids, in case you are thinking “Well they make stuff to help you people!” Yes they do. Marvellous creations of technology getting smarter every day. They have Bluetooth and can connect wirelessly with your tv, cell phone and so on. I have the old analog ones. They make my ears stick out when I wear sun glasses, but they do the trick. Whenever I go to get maintenance on them, I get the pitch. “The new ones are so much better. They are so clear. We won’t be able to repair these ones much longer …”  Ya I know. It’ll only cost me $4000 and my first born, and like cell phones and such, they will be out of date the moment I get them. No thanks. I am considering learning sign language instead. Cheaper.

I will tell you the upside of my “disability”. I can read lips. I can spy on people across the room and learn their darkest secrets. Unless they have an accent or moustache. Those people are safe from me. I can “turn off” noise around me. At the end of the day I can take my “ears” out and the silence wraps around me like a soothing blanket. I can use my “disability” to get me out of things … like jury duty (yes, I’ve done that).  I am also oblivious to the annoying car squeaks, dogs barking, annoying chewers … things that drive my husband batty.

I have never been angry to have a hearing impairment. It has caused some grief, but for the most part I feel it makes me a more observant person. A disability of any kind will usually heighten other senses. I have an amazing sense of smell and taste (no, not bragging). If I wasn’t so lazy I could probably find a good job that utilizes these senses. Personally I would love coffee tester. As it is, I love food … and that is another blog ☺️