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Gentle Virtues


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06/01/2012 - Panic rippled through the house. Eisley our pug was missing! Even though it was bedtime and we were in our pajamas, sleep was not on our minds, not when our four-legged family member was nowhere to be found.

Five, ten, fifteen, twenty minutes painfully passed. No amount of driving, biking, recruiting neighbors, whistling or calling out his name was of any use. Eisley didn't come.

Marcelle, my daughter who is good at finding missing earring backs and other objects, refused to give up. She began to search throughout our house again. "Honey," I whispered in a broken tone. "It's no use. We've searched every room." My words did not deter her. She was going to find our doggy or she wasn't going to bed.

Minutes later Marcelle squealed out, "I found Eisley! He's here! He was sleeping under my bed!" All of us came running with joy and bewilderment.

Sure enough, there he was, stretching and looking up at us innocently. (When I choose our carpet color based on Eisley's fawn-colored coat, little did I know how well he would blend in with it!)

A short time later we discovered why Eisley did not come when we called for him. He had lost his ability to hear.

In Latin, the word "audio" means "to hear". It is the root word for obedience. Because Eisley could not hear us, he could not obey us.

Inside each of us, is a little ear that helps us to obey. You will find that ear inside your hEARt. It says things like, "Ask for forgiveness. Check on your neighbor. Cut back on the carbs. Take your wife on a date." (I hope my hubby is listening to his heart.)

Noah Webster, in the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, defines obedience as "compliance with a command" and "abstaining from what is prohibited". Does your life model obedience? Even when chocolate is around?

Now seriously, how often do we listen to our hearts and obey their promptings? Do we allow its voice to be distinct? Or do we let it blend in with other voices?

Some of us may be compromised with our physical ears and may need the help of hearing aids or signing. That's okay. Life can still be manageable and even great. But life without our inner ear? That can be tragic. Being able to hear with our inner ear is as valuable as Eisley is to Marcelle. If it is missing, it is worth findin

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