The hardest part of my job was listening to the nonsensical prattle from the kids. Oh, I wasn’t rude, but my mind was busy elsewhere. I would comment here and there while thinking, I need to fix that barcode before I can put it back on the shelf or I need to get these new books processed so they can get out to the kids. I would smile at the child, and then continue with my work, not giving them my full attention because a teacher needed a report printed. One day the Lord said, “Listen to them”. I immediately felt ashamed of my attitude.
 Part of my job should be taking an active interest in these children and building a relationship with them. Here I was thinking that getting books on the shelf was more important. The work would still be there, but the opportunity to listen could be gone in a moment. It doesn’t matter what they talk about it only matters that I listen.
The reason why I found it so hard to listen was that my youngest was and still is a talker. By golly, that guy could talk your ear off. There were times I wish he would just be silent. One time my wish was granted. We had just left the store and driving home when I realized it was quiet. I quickly glanced in my mirror to check the backseat, thinking I had left him behind. However, there he was sitting quietly. I can’t remember what he was doing because my memory only kept the part where I panicked.
Because he was the youngest of three boys, he learned to use his mouth as a weapon to defend himself. He also used that weapon against me. He would dog me about wanting something, finally I would give in, and then he would turn around and argue that I had said no. He would have me so turned around I wouldn’t know which was the right answer. Yes, at first, I gave in often, but eventually I learned to stop arguing with him because the only way to win was not to debate in the first place. I thought for sure he would become a lawyer or a politician and woe to the judges or anyone who had to strength to debate him.
The kids at school had a knack in knowing when I’m busy, because they always interrupt. I try to keep working, but then I kick myself for brushing them off. Didn’t the Lord just tell me to listen? I almost missed the distress of a student who needed to talk about her dying uncle. Another student was so heartbroken when a friend said because of her religion they couldn’t be friends. Thankfully, the friend apologized. I’ve had students ask me if I was a Christian and what did it mean. They ask what I did on the weekend or they wanted to know what my favorite color was. I would ask them about how things were going for them. Just plain old chitchat. They get excited about this or that and want to share.
I find the more I pay attention the more they want to share. You never know what those rare moments can mean to someone and each one deserves to be heard.

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