To Give Ears

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” ~ Robert McCloskey

Three of us were slumped on our chairs last night. Everyone, including the Clinic Deputy, were all exhausted, explaining things to her but nothing was working.

In between loud sobs, a young female inmate demanded for so many requests every 5 minutes. Her face pressed on that big glass partition wall in the waiting area. She came in complaining of vaginal bleeding. 5 minutes later, she also had depression. 5 minutes later, she was also dizzy. 5 minutes later, her head hurts. 5 minutes later, she asked:

“If I hit my head in the bathroom, will you guys send me to the hospital?”

I just walked in to start my shift. The charge nurse was exhausted dealing with her and gave me her chart. She requested me to check her vital signs, whenever I was ready. While complaining to the deputy, I summoned her in. She kept talking the whole time. I only talked to her when I needed to. And concentrated on the things I needed to assess for. Her pulse and blood pressure and everything else were all normal. She denied a history of mental problem. She was at the earliest stage of being pregnant and complained of severe vaginal bleeding.

I told her to go to one of the exam rooms. As I had the Deputy stood nearby but enough to give the inmate some privacy.

“Show me your pad!” I demanded.

“What?” she acted not sure what I meant.

“Lower your pants and show me the pad they gave you earlier. If you are bleeding, I want to see how much!” I added.

There were no blood clots. There was no sign of any fresh, massive bleeding.

She didn’t know what to say. She started whining again in front of me.

“Can I stay here and wait here?” she asked, pertaining to the rows of chairs in front of the exam rooms.

“I’m sorry. I can’t let you stay here. We only bring you here if you are being treated. For now, you need to go back to the waiting area until we know that you’re feeling better, then, we’ll send you back to your unit,” I explained.

And for the ensuing hours, she remained whining, sobbing, yelling, demanding for treatment as she is a “high-risk” pregnant. She wouldn’t listen to our reassurance, to our explanations of her plan of care. She ended up being brought to the Suicide Watch because she threatened to hurt herself by hitting her head.

It was mentally exhausting. To try to explain things to someone who just didn’t want to listen.

“Are you okay?” asked the Charge Nurse.

“I’m fine. Just tired,” I answered as she laughed and concurred she felt the same. But my mind was somewhere else. Of the times God must have been longing for me to learn to listen. Except that He does not feel exhausted with my behavior. He always longs. He patiently waits. He watches faithfully. He always listens to me. To my whining…But how often do I listen to Him?

How it must be frustrating also for others who just want us to listen to them. Sometimes, it’s even better not to give any advices but just to let them know that we truly care and love them. By lending a pair of ears. A shoulder to cry on. How precious it would be to learn the art of listening. Of being still and remaining focused on what someone has to say. For the ability to speak well contributes to a successful communication. But so it is with the ability to listen…

Enough for me talking here….Go ahead, friends, your turn to speak!!! I need to listen!


James 1:19 - “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…”

17 comments:

  1. I loved you opening quote by Robert McCloskey

    Thanks for the excellent reminder why God gave us two ears and only one mouth. Being a good listener is a learned skill that most of us don't have.

    Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. Proverbs 17:8

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  2. This was really good as always. It is sometimes soo difficult to JUST listen. I do want to swope in and solve or fix things when I can, but often times what we REALLY need to do it listen. Thanks for this reminder. Have a great day...Blessings...

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  3. I'm learning this, slowly but surely sister. But I love when God sends gentle reminders.

    May God bless you so richly today and everyday!

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  4. AMEN!!
    Now, I know why I had you on my mind so much this weekend. GOD BLESS you for all you do for HIM in the prison system. What an amazing ministry HE has given you.
    Praying you rest in HIS arms, this day!
    Hugs, andrea

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  5. Good advice: Be still and know. I hope you have a wonderful week! God bless you.

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  6. I want to be a better listener. I can totally relate to what Debbie said here about how it's challenging to JUST listen

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  7. Bless you friend for dealing with these situations and not jumping out a window but use the situation as a teaching tool.

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  8. Rosel,

    I am so encouraged by your posts because you really make sure great points in our personal relationships with our Father. Too often, I am that whining child but I am learning to go to Him first and then deal with His will for me instead of my own.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

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  9. Hi Rosel,
    Thanks so much for your wonderful love filled words. I was truly impacted by that video in ways that I can not explain. I have shared it with so many people. I cant believe that I almost did not hit play!
    Listen, I can do that. I can listen. I am lacking in many words lately anyways.
    Please please please stay safe. My prayers are with you.
    Love, Cherie

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  10. Great post. Loved the video.
    Love to you
    kelly

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  11. Oh my friend, I felt like I was with you while listening to you tell us of this experience with this woman. May God cover you dear sister with so much grace and peace while working in such a place. May He wrap His arms around you and shelter you from all harm. May He whisper in your ear, "Job well done". May He continue to comfort those you deal with through you as you are such a strong shining vessel of His here on this earth.

    I love you Rosel. Oh how I pray for so much peace to cover you there in all ways.

    Peace to you my sweet friend & praying always for you,
    Alleluiabelle

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  12. I love you sis, and pray for you always. Thanks for being the blessing that you are.

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  13. Rosel, you are a wonderful sister and a blessing in your workplace :)


    ~Silver

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  14. Rosel,
    Thank you my sister in Christ for being HIS tool, for serving HIM and for allowing us to share in your journey.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Bren

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  15. Wow.....something I totally struggle with. Needing to just listen sometime, rather than always trying to "fix" the issue.

    I pray for your safety in your job often.

    xox

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  16. Godly inter-personal relationships require the critical element of listen. It is an skill and few are gifted, so the rest of us are learning and improving through the school of life's experiences. Thank you for bring this essential piece of communication that each and every one of us can use daily in our walk with the Lord through this world with joy. Brian

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"Faith is taking the first step even if you don't see the whole staircase..."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends