Listening… and not listening

When Jess was really little, about two… two and half, Dave used to take her with him when he went to deposit cheques at the bank, and run errands and to shop, before fetching Jordy and Wes from school. It gave me a chance to do some work and chores, as I would be home alone.

One morning when Dave was out with Jess, I went to the phone, and called him on his cell, asking him where he was. He explained that he was in the queue at the bank and not really allowed to talk on his cellphone. Without explanation, I asked him to leave the bank… which he did immediately without hesitation or questioning me.

Dave and Jess returned home, after they had shopped, and we didn’t discuss my phone call until the next day when Dave went back to the bank with Jess… where he was told by the bank manager, that they’d had an armed robbery the previous day, and the bank had been closed for the rest of that day. While he was listening to the bank manager, Dave realised that they had left the bank, just minutes before the armed men had arrived at the bank to rob it… and that my inspired phone call and his immediate compliance and response, ensured both Jess and his safety and protection from a really traumatic event.

A week later, I went to the phone and again called Dave on his cell, asking him where he was. He responded that he was in the Spar, waiting in the queue… I asked him to leave, which he did, abandoning his trolley of shopping and carrying Jess out the shop to the car, coming straight home.

Much later that same afternoon, Dave went to shop at the same Spar, collecting his abandoned shopping trolley still full of his shopping. While standing at the till with his shopping, the attendant who knew Dave and Jess really well… as they were her favourites, explained that there’d been an armed robbery just minutes after Dave had left with Jess that morning.

More than twenty years ago, in our quiet almost country suburb… this had just never happened before, and so these then unique daylight robberies were very traumatic for the people involved… even as they are today.

I will always be grateful for the inspiration and guidance I felt to call Dave on both those occasions, and for his humble immediate compliance, ensuring that Dave and Jess were both safe.

Five years before, when I failed to listen to the inspiration and guidance I had felt… we were involved in an incident while in Durban on holiday with my mom.

On a sweltering hot October day, when the temperature was about 37℃ and the humidity had the perspiration running off our faces, we went to visit the markets in Durban, despite the strong inspiration I had felt not to go for three days in a row.

We had to park in a shady part of Durban… in a time when Durban was a busy, hot tourist attraction with a huge police presence, where we walked the pavements in complete safety… and had done so for years.

Wes and Jordy were both still really young… Jordy was only just turning three, and I felt uncomfortable from the moment we exited the car, as I held tightly to both their hands, hurrying my mom to visit the places she wanted to shop at.

Inside the covered market, I felt even worse… the air was stifling, I felt more uneasy than I could ever remember feeling. My mom was confused about where she wanted to go, Wes was pulling on my hand, and Jordy felt really heavy as I carried him, trying not to lose my rising temper.

After less than 20 minutes, I told my mom enough, just that one word… raising my voice at my mom for the first time in our relationship.

She breathed a sigh of relief as she acquiesced… and as we stepped out onto the pavement, walking towards our parking… there were gunshots and I came face to face with two armed men, the one pointing a gun just inches from my face.

In just a few seconds, I swung Jordy and Wes behind me, while taking a deep breath, and bracing myself for this very real, life threatening confrontation… with no choice of “fight or flight”.

As I stood my ground in those few seconds, being perfectly still, staring straight into the eyes of the man pointing a gun at me, I felt like I grew in confidence and stature, determination giving me courage to protect my children.

I never said a word. I never heard the words he screamed at me.

I felt protected.

In minutes I’m sure… even though it felt much, much longer… both men, took a few steps back, running passed us in a wide arc.

After taking a deep breath, I turned and picked Jordy up, still holding Wes by the hand, and quietly asking my mom to stop crying and to be calm, as I didn’t want Wes and Jordy to be negatively affected, as I realised they hadn’t heard or seen anything.

I vowed in those moments of courage and strength, I would always endeavour to listen to the inspiration and guidance I receive, without questioning or second guessing what I feel.

I remained calm for the next 12 hours, deciding to curtail our holiday and return home.

It was a very long 8 hour drive home, which Wes and Jordy and my Mom slept through most of the way.

When I arrived home in the early hours, Dave was at the gate, ready to help. Gently taking Wes to bed, as I carried Jordy… and then helping my mom.

It was only then that I crawled into bed, and with Dave’s arms around me, I shared what happened, the gratitude I felt, filling my heart as the tears fell, and I finally succumbed to sleep. 

I will always be thankful for the insightful lesson learned, and the blessing of protection. I am also grateful, for so many times, when we have received guidance and inspiration, protecting us from danger. I’m grateful for the times I’m aware of that protection… and for so many, many times that I am unaware of the danger and the protection we are blessed with.

Our young children are pure and innocent, and I’m grateful for guidance to care for them and protect them. 

2 comments to “Listening… and not listening”
  1. Wow! This is very powerful. Thank you for Sharing these experiences with all who have read them and all who will yet read them. I am truly touch by these thank you once again.

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