My sister lives in a very dangerous area of Orlando, close to Orange Blossom Trail, which is notorious for drugs and crime. She lives is a pretty, tiny home, where she can’t even leave a sprinkler or hose out without its being stolen. Thieves have stripped the copper off her air conditioner, tried to steal her air conditioner, and have attempted to break in several times. Last month, someone kicked in the back door, although he only stole a T.V. before making a hasty getaway. My sister was (thankfully) not home at the time, but she’s assuming her burglar alarm frightened him away.
Trying to find a handyman who would actually come and fix the door took an unbelievable effort. “Thomas” came and went…and didn’t show up, and on and on. Finally, after a month of missed appointments and delays, she now has two steel doors reinforced with “door armor” and numerous locks. I don’t think I’ve seen so many locks since staying with a friend in Greenwich Village (NYC) back in the 70’s. At any rate, one of my jobs while in Florida last week was attempting to help her find someone who could install window bars that would accommodate her hurricane shutters. We finally tracked down someone who said they could do anything, had even done some work for Epcot, and lived at such and such a number on Amherst St. My sister took down his address, my brother (who’d also flown down from NYC) put it into his GPS, and away we went, arriving just at the right time…or so we thought.
That address didn’t exist. We drove up and down the street several times trying to figure out which place might be the right one. The closest we could find was the corner of Amhurst and Pine Street. It wasn’t until we called him that the mystery was solved. He lived on “Annhurst,” not “Amherst.” Hmmm. I guess we might be getting a little hard of hearing, but we also tend to hear what we’re most familiar with, and none of the three of us had a clear memory of ever hearing of some place called “Annhurst” before. Forty minutes later we were at the correct location. How often do I “hear” what I’m expecting to hear rather than what’s really being said? Hearing correctly can make all the difference, and getting where I need to be is impossible if I misunderstand, whether it’s on the streets of a city, the roads of someone’s heart, or the path to Heaven. May we listen attentively and ask lots of questions so we’ll truly understand and can find our way to the right place at the right time! “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:32-36)