writing for children

Still learning: Do you hear what I hear?

This weekend, Sean played some music for me. As I listened, I cringed at a couple of the notes. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Can’t you hear that?” I shivered. “That needs some work. The notes aren’t right. They aren’t in harmony.”

“Sounds fine to me,” he said, and played it again.

I shivered again. “NO, really. That sounds bad.” 

I pointed out the places that sounded great – then compared them to the places that didn’t. But Sean still couldn’t hear them.

Earlier in the week, I was learning a new song and was singing it in a range that was easy for me, but one that caused the upper notes of the song to be a little weird. I thought it was fine. He told me otherwise. “I like it, but you need to play it in a different key. There is one part that just doesn’t sound right. It just sounds, well, funky. And not in a good way.”

I didn’t agree – and tried to play it in the same key. He shook his head NO. “It’s too high or something.” he said. “I don’t know what to tell you. It’s just wrong.”

Neither of us could hear what the other person was hearing because we were too close to our own projects. On the other hand, neither of us could pinpoint exactly what was wrong with the other person’s project, but we knew something was wrong, wrong, wrong!

In my life, there are places that need fixing, but I can’t “hear” them because I’m too close to them. There are times I don’t hear the discord between who I say I am and how I’m living my life. There are times God uses other sweet folks in my life to say, “Do you hear what I hear? Listen up, something isn’t right.”

What do you do when someone asks for your thoughts on something and you can hear that something is wrong, wrong, wrong…but they don’t hear it?

In my case, I was very glad Sean told me what he did. I went back and practiced more and really thought about what he had to say. I prayed as I played and well, Sean was right. There was definitely a problem with that section of the song. I sang it in a different key and changed the “funky” place in the melody to suit my voice better. And when I played it for him later, his reaction said it all. “YES. That works. I like that you do this…and this…and…” You get the picture. He hadn’t been able to tell me exactly how to change it to make it work, but he knew I needed to work on it more. And when I did, he knew it was right, right, right!

And like the above situation, there are other times he sends folks into my life to say, “Do you hear what I hear? God is doing something good in your life. I want to encourage you to keep doing whatever it is God is telling you to do. I can HEAR the harmony….and it sounds good!”

What do you do when someone shares something they “hear” going on with you? Do you take it to heart and come under condemnation? Do you brush aside the encouragement? Or do you take it to the Lord and ask Him to open your ears to hear what HE is saying to you? Maybe God does want you to work on something in your life – or maybe He has sent someone to encourage you in what you are already doing. LISTEN!

If it is something good or something that needs work, pray! Ask Him to open your ears and let you hear what He wants you to know. He wants to speak directly to us, one on one, if we will just listen. So when He does send others our way to encourage us or point out something that is going on, He is STILL directing us back to Him. 

I suppose, then, the question is not “Do you hear what I hear”, but rather, “Do you hear what He hears?”

I think I might need to go clean out my ears. I hear too much of me and not enough of Him most days. How about you?


10 thoughts on “Still learning: Do you hear what I hear?

  1. Hi Donna,
    Terrific. About God’s messages for me: Do I hear what He wants me to hear? Do I understand what He is telling me? Will I obey even if it’s not what I was expecting to hear? Hummm…
    Linda A.


  2. Kelly – Glad this post struck a chord with you. And yay for praying every day! I do pray, but I’m not sure I’m digging in. Sometimes I find myself praying and not paying attention to what I’m saying or not even listening to Him. It’s kind of like playing on the computer when you are trying to have a conversation with someone else. It just not as fruitful as it needs to be. Know what I mean, jellybean? That’s one of those areas someone has been “hearing” in me that needs work.

    Sean – You heard MY issue just fine! I’m glad you did. 🙂

    Linda – Those are great questions! Obedience when it’s not what WE want to do…hard. Remember when we were little kids and our parents or teachers told us to do something we knew was good for us but we still didn’t want to do it. Yeah, kind of the same way with God. *sigh* Will I EVER grow up? 🙂


  3. Sooo good! Thanks for reminding me that all of us are human and don’t always see our blind spots, but others can and do. I’m glad that I have a husband who gently shows me mine. I want to stay open to his words, my friends words and God’s words!


  4. I think it is John C. Maxwell who said, “In every criticism someone makes of me there is at least a grain of truth. Find that grain of truth and ask God to show you how to fix it.”

    Taking that attitude dramatically changed the way I respond to people who point out my flaws.



  5. Beth – sounds like you and your hubby have a good thing going on. “Gently” pointing out flaws is a good thing. Harsh criticism is seldom received without hurt feelings attached.

    Jean – great quote! It’s easy to dismiss what someone says to us if we have “thin-skin”. We need to be able to hear criticism without feeling condemned.


  6. Great food for thought, Donna. Too often I hear too much of myself. I think I need to go clean out my ears, too 🙂 I really do want to have ears to hear. Sometimes it scares me, though — though I know it shouldn’t because God always has our best interest at heart.


    1. I know what you mean, Cheryl! God is so much bigger than us, yet…we don’t always trust Him like we should. It’s all part of that “growing in faith” thing, isn’t it? I’m glad He loves us through it all!


  7. Donna, enjoyed your post. You gave me a different perspective on “listening” – even to ourselves. Thank you!

    And thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you will stop by again!



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