Time and again we have heard people say: can we use PLEDGE in other settings besides our marriage? And we want to shout YES YOU CAN! We have heard people using it with their children, with their friends, with their parents, in their workplace, and even in politics!
Because of this – we are rebranding our ministry to help you use the principles of PLEDGE wherever you go. During this project, we have come up with all kinds of names and phrases we might use to describe what we do. One such phrase we considered was this: “Hear me in.” Normally we hear someone say “Please. Just hear me out!” It is often said with frustration, in an attempt to get someone to just listen. So what is meant by “hear me in?”
Recently I was struck again with the thought that everyone has a story inside them. I was saddened and convicted that too often I don’t stop to hear their story. Sometimes, I even forget there is one. Nevertheless, there are deep things going on inside each of us. There is a story about our life growing up. There is story that has been lived out in our relationships as adults.
There is story each day we could tell – if there was someone to listen.
And that’s the catch…
… if there is someone to listen.
Hear me in… the pain I feel. The anger I exhibit. The depression I experience. The addiction I cannot overcome. Hear me in those moments when I attempt to open up, as feeble as it may be. Hear me in the confusion that washes over my face when you talk to me. Hear me when I am silent, not knowing what to say. Hear me when I talk non-stop, keeping you at bay.
There is story waiting to be heard at every moment, with every person.
Taking time to listen is a gift we can give day after day, every day.
It is a gift to our spouse, a gift to our children, a gift to a friend, a gift to someone we work with, a gift to our neighbor, and a gift to the stranger on the street or the check-out person in the store.
This week I had the honor and privilege of being the guest author/speaker in my wife’s class with her second graders. It was great fun! I got my little kid fix! My wife is teaching PLEDGE to these children. As I was talking to them about pausing when they are mad, I asked if they had ever heard of the Golden Rule. Most had not. I taught them about treating others just like we would want them to treat us. They didn’t like it when someone said mean things to them. They didn’t want to say mean things to others either. Instead, they just want someone to listen when they are mad or hurt.
Everything we needed to learn for life we learned in – ok, second grade.
We all just want someone to listen.
When we are mad, or hurt, or afraid, or sad, or confused, or discouraged, or excited and happy and encouraged – we want to share our story with someone – if they will just listen.
So today, look around you. Watch for those moments when someone, some where, in some way is saying: “Will you hear me in _______?”
Ask them questions like:
How are you?
What is happening?
How are you feeling about ____?
If they give you a quick, brushed off answer, say: “No I mean it. How are you really?”
And give them the gift of listening to their story!
Share with us how you listened this week!