If Only We Listened

This afternoon one of my friends told me a wonderful story about his father. His father (a dedicated Christian) was in the German Army on the Russian Front during WWII.  He was at an airfield where German soldiers were being evacuated as quickly as possible because the Russian soldiers had them surrounded and were coming in for the slaughter.  The available planes could only carry 30 soldiers.  They could see the Russian forces as they lined up to be counted off for the very last plane.  His father was number 31. But when the counter was distracted he pushed the man in front of him to squeeze closer so he could cross the line.  As he was getting in the plane the wind from the prop blew his hat away.  It was a major offense for a German soldier not to have his full uniform so he paused for a moment to contemplate whether to run for the hat or get on the plane which had started to taxi.  At that moment he was pushed into the plane and the door slammed shut.  And now comes the great part of the story.  There was no one behind him to push him and slam the door!  For over a year I had been his father’s pastor and had never heard this exciting story.

Sometimes when I am part of a congregation I look around and wonder what stories each person has.  During our lives each of us has had some very remarkable things occur.  If we were better listeners we could hear more great stories.  Unfortunately when someone is telling us a good story we can hardly wait for them to take a breath so we can tell our bigger fish story.  Our lives would be so much richer if we just listened more than we talk.


Written by Roger Bothwell on July 15, 2013

PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574