All of us have the need to be heard. This starts from birth and continues with us in different guises throughout our life. At first, we all just make sounds to announce our arrival (most of us don’t remember the slap on the bum), and thereafter various levels of intensity will focus the attention of our parents or caregivers on our need for dry nappies or the need to have some food. As we grow up our need to be heard becomes a little more sophisticated, and soon enough unintelligible squeals become expressions of delight, anger, frustration or contentment. We hear and laugh about the “terrible two’s” when toddlers explore just how far they can push the boundaries set by parents. The teenage years come with their own challenges, and our need to be heard suddenly finds its expression in non-verbal forms as well. There are many times parents stand perplexed at the “please-hear-me” and “please-take-note” as expressed through ‘weird’ fashions, tattoos as well as verbal expressions; in worse case scenarios these expressions include substance abuse, violence and tactless verbal expressions.
I think that the need to be heard stems from our need to be ‘needed,’ to be ‘noticed’ and to be of significance. Our desire to be ‘needed’ and ‘noticed’ is not a negative thing, and I don’t mean to insinuate that we all suffer from a neediness-syndrome! All I am saying is that really deep inside we all have this drive to mean something, to have our life count for something, and somewhere, somehow to be able to make a difference. We want to be counted. And so our travels through life will inevitably include a search for people that will actually take the time to stop, take note, and listen to us. When we fail to find such people our need will drive us down roads that are ultimately self-destructive and evil. However, this needn’t be a dead-end street! A turnabout is possible.
We need to find that place where our need to be heard is in line with our desire to find spiritual peace. The reconnection of our spirit where a disruption exists becomes vital if we are wanting to move on and forward. And then my friend David gave me a small insight into the nature and character of God; even when there are no people around to listen or take note, God is always there. In a way He is the Supreme Listener! David said that every time He went looking for God, God was there to listen. Whether it was a cry for help, a shout of praise, or a simple meditation, God was there.
There are times in our life when things get so messed up that we are in danger of going down Self-pity Road or Discouragement Avenue. Well, that needn’t be. No matter how messed up our directions become, or how our GPS suddenly freezes up, there is a way to change this. How? Firstly, stop the car. Just stop. And then, after taking a couple of deep breaths, open your mouth and call to God. A simple, “I am lost and need new directions” will be enough. Know (and believe) that God is there to hear, and actually to listen. When He answers, it will mean a 180-degree turn on our part, and then simply to follow the sound of His voice. My friend David told me that each time he went looking for the Lord, not only was he heard, but he was delivered as well.
I think that it was God who placed this need to be heard inside of us. I think that this is His way to encourage an ongoing and meaningful relationship. And the fact that He listens to us, takes note of us, and makes us a significant somebody, is guaranteed.