I maneuver this tiny band loom shuttle entirely with my left hand. Winding the shuttle properly is essential. If the thread is not wound tightly, loops of thread start slipping off the ends of the shuttle, which messes up everything. Good listening is like a well-wound shuttle, and is essential for the health of any relationship. Even when we want to listen better, it’s easy to fall into bad habits.
Mrs. Isenhower, your son does not have a hearing problem, the audiologist informed me. Apparently, what he has is a listening problem. Ha ha! That seems funny now, years later. When it comes to listening, though, eight-year-old boys aren’t the only ones with a problem. My own viewpoint often stands in the way of hearing another. And in defense mode, I miss what another person says entirely.
If I listen with a humble heart, I am more interested in what you have to say than I am in my own opinions. Humility prepares the heart before a conversation, like carefully preparing that shuttle for the band loom, and smooths the way to truly hear.
May you hear something new as you practice listening today.
With this big Swedish loom, it is easy for me to get a firm beat. I can swing that hanging beater like nobody’s business! But that doesn’t serve me well for this delicate fabric. The streaks in this cloth are evidence that I’m struggling to get a consistent light beat. It is easy to show love to someone who loves us back, and like swinging the beater on this loom, brings positive momentum we feel good about. But what about the times love isn’t easy? …when a gentle touch takes more effort?
Anyone can be nice to someone who is nice; but can we show kindness to someone we’re at odds with? Thoughtfulness to the ungrateful, love to people who won’t love back… Not easy! Gentleness toward those with rough edges? That is the test of love.
If I only love those who love me back, I haven’t learned love yet. Love belongs to the greatest and the least, the grateful and the ungrateful. It is demonstrated by the master weaver, whose skilled hand taps each thread in with consistent grace. Never underestimate the gentle strength of love.
Some of my weaving projects have been flops. Those pieces are tucked in a box, never to see the light of day. Putting my weaving progress out there on this blog feels uncomfortable. Here I am, calling these white threads curtains in advance, but it could turn out to be a big oops! — like bath mat material, or sandpaper (don’t ask Steve about the bath towels). I won’t be able to hide this in a box; because you, my dear friends, are watching me!
Every time I start a new blog post I face mild panic. What if I don’t have anything to say this time? And what if I can’t discover a new weaving metaphor? Yikes, it’s all so public!
Try, try again. It is possible to exert sweat and tears, but have nothing to show for it in the end. We’d rather not let anyone know. But the creator who sees us does notice, and never calls it failure. Surprisingly, he tells us to go farther out, take a bigger risk, be brave.
Go ahead, try again, he says.
If you say so,… Okay, I will.
May you embrace the courage to try again, and find success waiting for you!