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“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Chinese Proverb

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Chinese Proverb

“You know I love you and I’m hear if you need me” was how my friend ended her message that let me know Mom is under hospice care. I keep up with my mom through friends even though she and I have been estranged for more than a decade.  
My friend, the one who sent the message, is a publisher and a fellow writer who knows the difference between hear and here, so I’m guessing her misspelling was the result of divine grammatical intervention. It stirred me as much as the news about Mom.
God knows I’ve needed to be heard and understood probably more than I’ve needed to be loved.
I’ve lived most of my life with a desperate desire for others to listen and “get me,” which explains why I’ve talked non-stop to anyone who would sit in front of me. Only thing is, they’ve looked blank more often than not.
They didn’t get me at all, probably because I didn’t get myself.
I had no idea who I was because I listened to what others (you know, the people who didn’t get me) preached, conformed to what they expected, and tried to believe what they said even though I secretly doubted most of it.
The more I hang out with the trusted group of friends I have now, the ones who do hear and understand, the more I recognize that most, if not all, of us long for something. When we don’t get it, some of us run scared. I think that’s why I ran to more impressive homes, name brand people, and a noticeable writing career – I was too afraid to admit what I really longed for, but couldn’t have, not from someone else anyways.
And I was adamant that I didn’t want to do it for myself. I wanted hearing and understanding to come from my parents, my husband, friends, or a mentor.
Instead, I ended up with a God who, in the place of giving me a boatload of fish, taught me how to catch them. I never was crazy about that quote – well, until now.
I’m learning to honor myself the way God’s honored me all along, like in the message I’m convinced he sent through my friend, “I’m hear if you need me.” The misspelling was enough to jolt me into recognizing I’m being heard and understood by my God, I’m hearing and understanding the still small voice within, and most days, I’m enjoying catching my own fish.
What are you longing for? Any chance you’re trying to get it outside yourself when the only place it can be found is within?
WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – Dear God, I wanted someone else to do it (fill in the blank for yourself) for me. You wanted me to do it for myself. Under duress, we’re doing it your way. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have something for you!


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