Yesterday, I listened differently. One voice I heard was as smooth as the cream in my coffee and deliberate in its pauses. She waited between words. I got the impression that every syllable was special.
I joked and told her she should give training, her voice was so pleasant to hear. She explained it was just Southern and I answered well, I’m just as southern as you.
We were helping someone, one voice on the phone and the two of us trying to listen in light of emergent need. I wanted to ask hard questions, scold missteps in my concern for her condition.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”
James 3:17 ESV
Instead, I watched and waited and tried to line my parts up in the conversation with what she might receive as compassion not concern.
Her voice was quiet and it wavered. It was sure and then it was scared. It was willing and then it wished it had not spoken.
I listened as my colleague offered coffee and then calmly led her to talk about her boys, then at just the right moment as I turned to tell her, she voiced her agreement with me, assuring the young mother.
You can get back to the place of okay.
We saw her smile, softly repeat our belief using her voice and repeat it again, believing, I believe,
She will get there again,
The place of okay.