I want a drink of water, you said.
And before I could answer or refuse you, you repeated yourself.
I want a drink of water.
MOM. I want a drink of water.
-Yes. I heard you.-
-I heard you.-
Mom. Mom. Mom.
You shake my arm and pull on my shirt.
-I heard you.-
Child, I heard your first cry, in a delivery room as you left me and became your own.
I heard you at night when you cried in your bed a whole floor and house-length away.
I heard you when you fell outside.
I heard you when you said ‘thank you’ to your sister without me prompting.
I heard you when you asked your dad for a(nother) goodnight kiss.
I heard you singing to your stuffed animals and grumbling about dinner under your breath.
I heard you.
I can pick you out of a crowd of 100 children, simply by your voice. Speak. Continue. Say my name once and go on. No need to repeat it 8 thousand times. I HEARD YOU, child. I heard you the first time. And I say it through gritted teeth with tense shoulders.
You want me to look at you. What’s more, you want me to SEE you. You don’t want me to simply hear. You want me to LISTEN.
I am still learning.
Let me point you to the Father, who is never too busy with another child. He is never distracted by FedEx deliveries or email notifications. He never sleeps. He watches over you and out for you… and he waits, simply to answer when you call.
I try my best… I do.
But He is infinitely better.
He hears you in the quiet, when there are no words.
He hears you when you are too afraid to ask.
He hears you before you’ve finished your thought.
He hears you in crowds and on mountains and through tears.
He hears you the first time and the thousandth time.
He hears you, presently.
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
Let me remember the next time and every time you repeat and beg and clamor for my attention that I have done the same, assuming He has not heard me the first time. That he was too busy. That I must be persistent and loud to be effective. That He will forget me.
Let me remember that He hears me the first time, every time.
Child, I hear you.
And let me show you the same patience He shows me.
I can do this.
I can change the words.