Posts Tagged ‘Caring’

He only needed two things: He needed to tell his story, and he needed someone to listen.

The restaurant was packed that day with the many veterans who were enjoying their complimentary Veterans Day meal. Most were chatting with friends and family, but others, like David, sat alone. The free dinner was a blessing, to be sure, but David had a common bond with most of the men and women who had gathered at 1Applebee’s that evening; they would understand him.

As my husband and I were seated at the table next to David’s, we certainly returned his warm greeting. Then, while quietly eating dinner, we watched David engage every passer-by in conversation. As veterans are prone to do, they would all swap stories of far-away places and their military assignments, both pleasant and dangerous, as well as love of country and all aspects of military service. We were not intentionally eavesdropping but were in such close proximity that we heard much of what was said. Every account was interesting. However, what captivated me most was the way that David’s whole demeanor brightened whenever he spoke of his years in the Air Force. Undoubtedly, sharing with fellow veterans helped this widower feel that he had connected with family again, as they all shared a genuine camaraderie no matter their branch of service. He needed that.

Just before leaving the restaurant, we both walked over to David’s table. My husband, who is a very humble man, did not acknowledge his own twenty-year service but rather, thanked David for his. He answered a few questions for this sweet man and then we both listened – and listened – and listened! Yes, this is what David needed. He needed to tell his story, and he needed someone to listen. He needed to feel appreciated and to know that he was not “invisible.” More importantly, he needed to feel that he still belonged somewhere. We knew this because he told us so.

David had come to that restaurant to receive from others, yet he gave so much more. Obviously, he was touching lives, including mine. I felt it an honor to relive much of this man’s life with him as he shared memoires of his trials and his triumphs, his successes and failures, and most importantly, his humanity laid bare. He both laughed and cried as he told his life-story, and we along with him.

David told his story and we listened!

That night, as I pondered our not-so-brief encounter with David, I couldn’t help but think how much like David I myself frequently am. Life can sometimes be lonely, even when surrounded by people who care. Can you, dear reader, relate to this? Sadly, it is far too easy in today’s world to feel invisible or unappreciated even with all the perks of social media. During those times, we, like David, simply want to tell our story and to be heard. But what do we do when frustrations build, and no one seems to notice? The answer is simple. We can, and should, take all our cares to God in prayer; but this is not always easy. Why? Because few things cause spiritual amnesia as quickly as a downcast spirit.

If you, dear reader, are feeling this way, let me remind you that if you are not harboring sin in your heart, God will heed your every prayer:…verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me. Psalm 66:19,20

Verse eighteen of that same Psalm states, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Granted, this seems harsh, yet there are several other scriptures in the Bible which are in agreement with this one. Please do not allow this to be a deterrence, though, if you are not in right-standing with God. You need only to repent of your sin and genuinely accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior if you haven’t already. Romans 10:9,10 instructs: if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Such confession must, by necessity, be a very genuine and heart-felt one, and rest assured, it is one that God will hear. [1 John 1:9]- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Perhaps your life-story has not be as notable as that of veteran David; it may not even be a good one, but I assure you, even though God already knows every minute detail of your story, He will listen to those who trust in him -and listen -and listen!

Finally, dear reader, I would also count it a privilege to listen to you. If you would like share whatever is on your mind, simply  drop me an email, I will be sure to respond.


1 On behalf of veteran families, I want to thank Applebee’s restaurant for their commitment to respect our veterans and to provide a wonderful, complimentary meal in order to say thank you to all who have served this country. The food was good, the service excellent and the hospitality much appreciated. 

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