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Take time to open your heart and listen

Higher Ground: Not everyone has someone to talk to, and a sympathetic ear can go a long way.

"Know this, my beloved brethren, let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger." James 1:19

This scripture got my attention. Have I been talking too much and listening too little? Do I think only my viewpoints are important? I should stop what I am doing and listen, whether it be to a family member, a friend who is facing some unknown medical challenges or our business associates.

The holidays can be a hard time for many people. While visiting my wife Jane's mother in Ohio this Christmas, we were standing in line waiting to be seated at a local restaurant. A man next to us began talking about how he had lost his father before Thanksgiving, and the holidays weren't the same.

A day later, a man wanted to talk to us about losing his wife in November, and how difficult and different everything has been. These people needed someone to listen to them. We hope we made their day a little brighter.

For all of us in the farming industry, the past few years have been difficult. There might be some new young farmers out there who need some encouragement or others we meet along the way struggling to make ends meet.

Ask for the Lord's help and wisdom to listen to the people right in front of you. He will do it and will use you to bless others.

Roy and Jane Norman
Woodstock, Conn.
Roy and Jane Norman are members of Fellowship of Christian Farmers International.
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