When your ears don’t hear

Column Post by Lakin Easterling

Do you ever have those days where you’re not exactly sure what’s bothering you, or nagging at you, or trying to get your attention? I’m having one of those weeks.

Something is stirring around me, whispering, but I can’t make out words. Or if I can, they seem to be in a different language, and listening leaves me confused and flustered and helpless.

I think it’s times like this when we need to take a step away. Try not to listen so hard or discern so much. Sometimes in our fervor to know the next step, we forget about the step we’re already taking and we trip. Things always sound different from the ground.

This past weekend, the dirt in my ears muffled the words that were trying to lift me back to standing. There were weeds, too—pretty ones, distracting ones—and crickets and ants and the little hopping feet of curious birds. Sometimes it feels like the easy and peaceful thing to rest on the ground no matter what is filtering down from the sky. It’s nice to lie still and not think about untying the knots of moving forward.

These are the days when I’m especially grateful for my husband. He doesn’t try to pull me up too fast, and he doesn’t hover and impatiently tap his feet. He gets down on the ground and lies beside me, waiting.

This week we were on our way home from the Sunday gathering at our church, moving forward up the interstate. Even that forward motion was hard for me to make, and I wasn’t driving. Belle was asleep in her car seat, and we were listening to a favorite album. It was sunny and clear and cool. But I couldn’t appreciate it because I was too busy tripping over my own feet.

Luke turned off the music and looked at me softly. “Can you tell me what’s wrong?”

I answered that nothing was wrong, because it was true. He just gave me a sideways look, hands on the wheel, and replied, “Well, something is eating at you, and even if you don’t know it, I see it on your face. You can talk about it if you want, or you don’t have to.” He grabbed one of my hands in his, and I was silent for a while.

Finally, I hit the dirt. Nothing was wrong but that I was trying to force a forward movement in a direction I didn’t know, or maybe was just unsure of, and I needed to lie down for a minute. Or ten.

We sat in the car in the parking lot of our apartment building and talked while the baby napped, then carried her up and talked until deep in the afternoon.

I spilled my tears on the soil of his ready ears and emptied, beginning to breathe again.

Sometimes, all we need is to stop listening, and let someone else listen for us.


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Lakin Easterling is a wife, mother, writer, and avid reader. She spends her days chasing her toddler, Belle, and conversing with the elderly who are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. She loves surprise coffee dates with her husband Luke, texting novels to her best friend, Laura Hyers, and being a college student. She dreams about being brave enough to get a tattoo, and believes in the healing power of a good cup of coffee. Her favorite nail polish is Sail Away by Milani. She blogs at http://threadingsymphonies.wordpress.com.

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One thought on “When your ears don’t hear

  1. I’ve felt that way a LOT lately, in addition to feeling as if I meet myself coming and going.

    I talked to a dear, precious Christian lady yesterday and she commented to me that it seemed as if my life was reaction to one crises after another and I never seem to be able to catch my breath. She’s right, but I also feel there’s SOMETHING I’m missing.

    Thank you for this post (and for all the others, too) this one just set off a lot of tears, as have others, but for some reason this one resonated DEEPLY today..

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