Another “Listening” Lesson


Dear Reader:

Now that I have settled into the New Year with my “perfect” word listening…God is sending me all kinds of winks and clues where to go to get better at this important skill in my life.

One was this little book that I ordered for a penny and 3.99 shipping charges from amazon. It is called Patterns of Grace and since my mind works completely in forming and connecting patterns I figured this devotional would be ‘right up my alley’…and it is.

The first two anecdotes the author, Debbie Macomber, writes about drew me right in to the importance of listening intently. Here is the first one:

Debbie and her husband were having a difficult year because their youngest son, Dale, was having problems with drugs. He had received two DUI tickets and soon, with lots of prayer, entered rehab. Debbie thought their troubles were over after rehab…but it was just the start of an avalanche of more problems for her youngest child. He was sober, but nothing else seem to change…he lost his job and starting taking one personal blow after another.

As matters grew worse, Debbie began to doubt if God was listening or even cared. Why was Dale struggling so when he was working so hard to get his life back together?

She began writing her prayers of frustration in a journal…then one day her frustrations mounted because her pen stopped writing. She burst into tears and threw up her hands in complete surrender. Her husband heard her crying and listened to her wailing over a stuck pen. He calmly took the pen from her, filled up a glass with hot water, placed the pen inside, and a few minutes later returned the pen to her without saying a word.

“When I picked it up again, the ink flowed smoothly and effortlessly. I stared at it for a long time, and with tears in my eyes I recognized what God was attempting to tell me. He was working in Dale’s life. He’s set our son in hot water so that Dale can work out his issues. Everything was happening just the way God meant it to…Dale just had to listen and follow His words.”

The second anecdote is one that I could relate to…taking time to listen to God’s response.

Once again, in this short story, Debbie is feeling the frustration of not ‘hearing’ an answer to a problem that is causing her a lot of pain. One day she asks a close friend, Barb, why she thought she couldn’t communicate with God. Here was her response.

“I don’t know what I am doing wrong” Debbie lamented. “I’ve filled up pages and pages in my prayer journal, pouring out my problem to God. I’ve brought the matter up daily waiting for Him to move in my life. I don’t think He hears my prayers any longer.”

Barb didn’t say anything for a long time. Then she smiled and said, ” Maybe you should try a different tactic.”

“How do you mean?” I said. I was open to any and everything.

Barb smiled and said softly. “Maybe this isn’t a case of God not hearing your prayers, Debbie. I believe He’s always available to his children. Perhaps He’s just waiting for you to listen.”


After reading these two anecdotes (from Macomber’s daily devotions) I had a kind of epiphany. Maybe that was why I seemed to understand God’s responses better when they appeared in “Wink” form. He must know that I am a visual learner, not an auditory one. So in order to communicate His responses back to me…He has found more success in sending me His “Winks,” within a pattern, that draws my attention faster than an auditory response.

Who knew? God is the teacher who knows everyone of our learning styles and uses individual techniques for each of His children.

So until tomorrow….Father, open our hearts, as well as our eyes and ears, to understand what You are telling us.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* I think light, in all its forms, bring me the most extraordinary joy on the ordinary days…. inside and outside. Both these photos were taken yesterday morning.







About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Another “Listening” Lesson

  1. Jo Dufford says:

    This is like a God’s wink for me because I have continued to look for my word this year, and consequently will be a theme for my next Circle program. Over and over the word, Listen, has popped up, and I thought, “That’s it”, but I still kept listening for another word. Then today your message hit me, and I thought, “Well, Jo, that must be what God has been telling you.” Thanks. I love the saying that God gave us one mouth and two ears, so He must have intended us to listen twice as much as we talk.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      One month into the New Year and already “listening” has brought me renewed affirmation that listening to God takes many forms and comes in surprise packages most often.


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