Let me tell you a story about when Brantley was young enough that he couldn’t make the “r” sound (it came out as “w”). Sitting in the kitchen after Bible School one day, I made conversation by asking him what his teacher’s name was. I knew perfectly well that her name was Rhonda. Brantley answered.: “Miss W-ohnda.”
“Oh!” I said. “Wanda! I love that name.”
“No! Not Wanda. W-honda!” Brantley replied.
“No, not Wanda! W-honda!”
This went on until it no longer amused me. Finally I said, “Miss Rhonda?” The relief that spread over Brantley’s face can’t be described. “Yes! W-honda!”
In a similar vein, one day in the car, Brantley said, “Mommy, I’m hungry.”
“Really?” I said. “Because you sure look like Brantley.”
“I AM Brantley. But I’m hungry!”
“Nice to meet you, Hungry!”
“NO! I. Am. Hungry.”
When the veins started popping out on his forehead, I said, “Oh, I see. Your name is Brantley and you want something to eat.” Relief!
In my defense, Brantley grew up to be a great communicator. Very precise with his words. And neurotic. (KIDDING!)
Do you ever listen to someone’s words, but ascribe your own meaning to them? Do you respond to your interpretation of their words instead of what they meant their words to communicate? Jesus once said to the crowd upon whose ears His words fell: “Do you know why you do not believe? You can’t hear what I’m saying!”
Can you hear someone’s words clearly, but still miss what they said? You can perceive the sound waves set in motion by the air coming from a person’s mouth, or you can hear what the person is saying.