Yesterday the dog was running from one window to the other barking. I peeked through the blinds on the window nearest me and didn’t see anything. My dog, Cash, is bad to bark at nothing or angels or imaginary threats. I told him, “There’s nothing out there” but he kept at it so I looked out of the second window. What to my wondering eyes did appear but two men on a golf cart riding right up beside the house. It was our mower who had returned to spray Round Up.
I was wrong. I had to apologize to Cash and take a time out.
The incident reminded me of a story about my grandmother. She too was prone to report crazy things that weren’t always what she thought they were. Once she called my uncle claiming that a donkey was in her backyard. At her insistence, he came over to check it out though he was still a bit skeptical.
To his surprise, there was a donkey in the backyard.
Even crazy people aren’t always wrong and yet we develop a tendency to disregard what they’re saying because we’ve already been to the circus before.
There’s a reason people say, “consider the source.” It’s necessary to because there’s a lot of information coming at us all the time. We need to filter and measure and weigh the facts.
While we consider the source, let us also consider how painful it must be to not be taken seriously. It’s a thing of grace to really listen to someone.
Sometimes it turns out, they are right.
But it’s not just a nice thing to do, it’s for our benefit to listen.
Sometimes they know something we don’t know.
And sometimes, even when they don’t know what they’re talking about, they possess clues to the mysteries that befuddle us most, like grace, or inspiration, or where we parked our car, or what we should do with our lives.
But unless we listen, we’ll miss the donkey in the backyard.
We’ll say, “It’s nothing.”