Tuesday, March 09, 2010
30 Days of Hearing -- Ring Tone
I am not the sort of fellow who goes in for special ring tones for individual callers. Well, not for the most part. I used to have the "Hallelujah" chorus play when family called... but that was on my old phone and I haven't updated the new one to do that. Most people just get my standard ring tone which is the theme song from "Mr. Deity."
But today, in the midst of meetings and preparation for my trip to D.C., I missed hearing that familiar (to me) ring tone and came back to discover a message from my friend and co-author Beth.
"Hi. I know you'll be flying tomorrow. I hope you survive the flight," sang her bright, cheery voice. (I wonder if she's always this bright and cheery. I must check with her husband, Dave).
Hope you survive the flight??? Yikes! Except, I knew what she meant. Beth knows I hate (and I mean hate as in scared to death and in dire need of tranquilization) flying. So what I heard was her concern for me.
Still, it was a bit disconcerting -- "I hope you survive the flight."
Then she tried to cover up by explaining what she meant... and, of course, just dug a deeper hole. I was really laughing by the time I called her back.
But it did make me wonder -- how many times have I said something that sounded so right in my mind but came out so wrong aurally? Especially to the listener? How many times have I tried to say something helpful and said something hurtful? Way too many, I am afraid.
It also made me think of the grace we extend to those we love. If an "enemy" of mine had said those words, I would have resented them -- heard them as a dig at my failure of nerve. But since they came from Beth, a good friend, I heard them as care and compassion about something she knows troubles me. Even if she does not have that fear herself.
I also remembered the old gospel hymn "Open My Eyes," especially the second verse --
Open my ears, that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest clear,
And while the wave-notes fall on my ear, everything false will disappear.
Indeed, the false disappeared in the truth of Beth's call. The truth was she reached out in Christian love and offered a wish for my fear to be eased and my travels to be smooth. May all my words -- well-spoken or not -- be heard with that same grace. The grace of intention and love.