Dick Hunt's Blog

May 21, 2012

The Man Who Didn’t Know What Prayer Is.

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 8:56 am

The Man Who Didn’t Know What Prayer Is.
By Dick Hunt, Sunday, May 20th, 2012.

In the spring of 1972, Ruth and I and our Daughter Gail were traveling by bus from Italy down the Alps into Insbruck, Austria.  We were with a tour group and left our hotel with a bag lunch each for the 48 passengers.  The day before, the Bus driver had attempted to enter into a courtyard in Italy and had high centered as he crossed the sidewalk. Evidently, as we learned, he had damaged the oil pan and when we got part way down into Insbruck, the oil had leaked out and the bus stalled alongside the highway.  The driver phoned Insbruck and in due course  relief bus appeared.

In the meantime, it being a sunny day, we sat on the edge of the highway, looking out over the valley. The sight was awesome.  We were treated to a fine display of Glider Flying with dozens of gliders in view at the same time. They were being towed aloft by powered planes  and as they achieved the required altitude to be able to catch the strong updrafts near the face of the perpendicular cliffs several thousand feet in height, they were released from the tow planes to fend for themselves. They soared and soared to great heights  and we were entranced as we ate our lunch and waited for our relief bus.  In the meantime a large gravel truck had towed the faulty bus off into city away below, for repairs.  We were a little reluctant to see our bus come as the flying was so entrancing. But we eventually boarded and continued into the city far below for the night in the City.  Our Courier had arranged for our Hotel accommodation and our evening and morning meals, at a Restaurant and we settled in for our overnight stay.
As part of our agenda included a guided tour of the large Roman Catholic Cathedral the next morning, we made our way there on our bus about midmorning. It was immensely rich in decoration and there was much to see. The guide was very gracious and gentle. There were many small chapels around the interior and they were well used by people at their Prayers. But there was a fly in the ointment. There was a man in our tour group, traveling with his young daughter who was a great camera buff. He kept exclaiming loudly about the extreme riches of the interior, with gold overlay, jewels, the likeness of various historic Persons in the statuary, the carved furniture, the Leaded Glass windows.  And he stuck to me like lead. I tried, as quietly as I could, to get him to talk quietly, as the people were getting restive. I quietly said, “The people are praying all around us here and they would like to have it quiet. “He loudly said, “what do yer mean, prayin, what’s prayin?”   I finally had to walk away from him. And he wasn’t putting on an act, he was one of a kind, as far as I knew. He was a talker but certainly not a listener.

Whoever it was who said, “The Lord has given us two ears and one mouth.  It therefore stands to reason that we should listen twice as much as we speak”, was wise  and considerate. I need to take my own advice. But if we really have something worth sharing, we need to wait for a break in the conversation and share what we believe people need to hear. If what we want to share has the ring of truth, we are sure to get a hearing.  What we want to teach, we should let it ring out and not keep silent.  Such is the good news of salvation.  But when our hearers want to speak, we should be ready to listen. We all have something new to learn and we should always be ready to speak with kindness and listen with an open mind.

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