Peebles Elementary hosts PBIS showcase NAES student starting Christmas Card project Try and tell them that nobody cares Senior Profile: Ethan Thompson 15-point lead vanishes, Hounds fall in season opener Deer Gun Season results down all across Ohio Hometown Christmas in Peebles rings in the holiday season Manchester Elementary receives 2016 Momentum Award Drug bust in West Union Stephen C Foster Donna Rivers WUES students perform as part of Honor Choir Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak access completed Hall of Fame Christmas in Portsmouth Thyme to trim the Christmas Tree Junior High Lady Hounds get season-opening sweep Lady Devils roll past Paint Valley in season opener Senior Profile: Jessica Johnson Michael E Roberts Sr Evelyn L Jones Thomas M Calvert Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES
web1_Loren-Hardin.jpg

Listening with your heart

This is part four of a series about Tom, a 68- year old hospice patient with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). As I wrote in part one of this series, “Ten foot tall and Bullet Proof,” according to Tom’s wife, Faye, Tom is a modern day renaissance man. Faye, recounted, “He always said he wanted to try everything.” They’ve moved 25 times during their 50 years of marriage. Tom is a skilled mechanic and he owned and operated tractor trailer rigs, was a minister and pastor, rode motorcycles, and was an excellent tennis player, causing Faye to claim, “He even could have been a professional bowler.”

Faye continued, “We’ve lived in the best of houses and worn the best of clothes.” But their lives are much different now. Tom’s chronic illness has exhausted them financially. Now they barely survive from month to month. They don’t have transportation because they can’t afford to repair their van. And they financially can’t keep up with basic home maintenance and repairs. Faye stated that for a few years their living room ceiling leaked during heavy rains, “We placed buckets all around the room and imagined we were being serenaded by the rain hitting the buckets. We still had a sense of humor and we are more thankful now than ever. We are happier here than anywhere.”

I started out viewing Tom as a patient, then a fellow pilgrim, and now as a friend and spiritual brother. And my relationship with Tom has proven the following proverb to be true, “As iron sharpens iron so does a man his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

In case you haven’t been following Tom’s story, I’ll summarize. Tom has shared insights about humility, stating, “You have to see who you are and who God is”. He’s shared about patience, that “God can make something good come out of everything, but for some things you may have to wait an eternity.” And lastly, Tom shared about the importance of being a discriminating listener, a “man of understanding”.

I thought I’d completed this series until I visited Tom yesterday and he shared, “God’s been telling me, ‘You’ve listened to me with your ears. Now I want you to listen to Me with your heart.’” I asked Tom what the difference was and he explained, “When you listen with your ears you use your mind. When you listen with your heart you use your spirit. Your mind tries to justify itself. Your mind judges, but your heart loves. And out of the abundance of your heart your mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) Tom pointed out how we can misuse our minds to filter or censor God and how we can rationalize and intellectualize to justify our positions, to prove we’re right.”

I confessed to Tom that I’m not worthy to “cast the first stone” (John 8:7); because I stand guilty myself. Tom responded, “You and about five billion other people. We all are.” Then it got real and personal, in both directions. I won’t share Tom’s part, but I will mine. I told Tom about how my friend, Gregg and I mutually committed to praying more for our wives and to hold one another accountable. After our men’s meeting at church last Saturday I complained to Gregg about some disappointments in our marriage. Gregg’s response reflected his commitment to hold me accountable; “Loren, when you get right down to it, love is always in spite of something isn’t it?” Immediately I realized that all differences don’t have to be worked out, They can be understood, accepted, respected and even appreciated. Immediately I realized how selfish and self righteous I’ve been and that I’ve only been listening with my ears and not with my heart.

I’m reminded of Jesus’ discourse with the notoriously self righteous Scribes and Pharisees, “Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith.” (Matthew 23:3) Apparently they too only listened with their ears and not with their hearts.

When we only listen with our ears to justify ourselves, we end up with self righteousness. When we listen to God with our hearts and obey, we end up with holiness and godliness. In conclusion I’ll leave you with a nugget from my friend, Jerry, “Sometimes it’s better to be kind than it is to be right?”

Loren Hardin is a social worker with Southern Ohio Medical Center – Hospice and can be reached by email at hardinl@somc.org or by phone at 740-356-2525. He invites you to share your comments and testimonials with him and to contact him if you would like copies of the first three parts of this series.

http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Loren-Hardin1.jpg

Loren Hardin

Straight Paths

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2016 People's Defender