Being So Sensitive
This morning I was part of a discussion that dealt with the question; “What is a sensitive person?” The answers, be they positive or negative, depended a lot on whether or not you considered being sensitive a positive or negative trait.
For some being sensitive was empathy, an awareness of the mood of a room or a person. For others being sensitive had more to do with being “thin skinned“, wearing one’s heart on their sleeves, not being able to take a joke or criticism.
Later, I attended a worship service where the choir included a person who sang vocally and with sign language. I watched this lady use her hands, and sometimes entire body, to communicate both the words of the song and the voice of her spirit.
Many times in our conversations with others we only hear their words or wait impatiently for them to take a breath so we can begin to talk. Listening to someone is more than recognizing the words they speak. It’s also hearing what isn’t said; the tone of voice, trembling, whispers, loudness, hyperbole, flailing of arms and legs or not moving at all. If we’re receptive we can pick up on pain, struggle, doubt and fear that’s expressed through a myriad of ways.
Wisdom teaches us that being sensitive, empathetic, willing to listen to the other with our ears and our spirits is a rare and needed gift. Oftentimes what someone doesn’t say may be exactly what they need us to hear.