A Sympathetic Ear

A Sympathetic Ear

Children have an incredible knack at comforting. One mother tells of her little Tina coming home late from school. “Where have you been, Tina?” her mom asked.
“Lisa dropped her best doll and it broke,” explained Tina. “I stayed to help her.” “Oh, were you able to fix it? It was very kind of you to try.” “No, Mom,” Tina lamented. “I couldn’t fix the doll. So I stayed to help her cry.”

Pastor Dan was one of those persons people called about everything. He was just the one you wanted to talk to when you had a problem or something to share. Once he was visiting neighbors in the high-rise apartment building next to his church. He knocked on the door of a resident just to get acquainted. He met with a cold response, but was undaunted in his efforts to make a new friend. Upon finally gaining entrance, he found himself seated across from a very grumpy woman who had nothing good to say about anyone, from the mayor to the maintenance man. Pastor Dan just listened as he always did, throwing in a few “Really!” and “Imagine that!” kind of comments along with lots of smiles. When the old woman’s tirade slowed, Pastor Dan said he was delighted to have met her but he’d better be running alone now. If it were okay with her, he’d be back later in the week with a loaf of his wife’s fresh bread.

Pastor Dan would have thought little more about the episode had the woman’s daughter not dropped by his office the following day. “Are you the pastor who visited my mother yesterday?” she inquired. Upon confirming that he was, the daughter introduced herself and promptly asked another question: “Whatever have you done to Mother?” Pastor Dan looked puzzled, so she continued. “My mother has been a totally different person since your visit!” the daughter went on incredulously. “She’s actually been cheerful—not one of her usual qualities you might have guessed! And she says you’re the best conversationalist in the whole wide world!”

There are times when we all need some comfort, when we need to be soothed. It’s not always easy to live in this troubled world. But a touch of comfort can go a long way in soothing a hurting heart.

From Jumpstart Connections, pp. 91-93 by Karen Holford and Karen and Ron Flowers.

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