Maybe they just need to be heard …

Last summer there was a hail storm in our area, and as a result, we received a major blessing of having our roof and siding replaced late fall. I work from home and knew ahead of time, our dog probably wouldn’t like the banging, people in the yard, and extra chaos in our normally quiet, boring days.


But, I did think he would eventually get used to them and STOP barking! Every single day. Every single time they took a break or left to get lunch and came back … every single time he would start back up again as though he was hearing the noise for the first time.


However, I knew the place where the barking was coming from – protecting our family (although the workers were so polite and nice, I didn’t need protection), a little bit of fear mixed in with not knowing what all the banging was about (maybe), and just feeling unsettled. Because I could easily understand his feelings, I didn’t get upset with the constant barking for almost two weeks. I was able to comfort and not let it get under my skin. I was able to stay out of the turmoil he was experiencing and be that “safe place” for him instead.

I’m the same way when babies cry. While I do what I can to help them stop (change diapers, feed, rock), sometimes babies just cry. They have emotions that get pent up like the rest of us and sometimes they need to get it out. Their main form of communication is crying.


Before you think I’m painting myself as a saint, I hate to admit it, but I’m not as patient with other people, people I think should “know” better. People who can communicate with words, yet choose not to. People who … are just being people. My children tell me I’m not very sympathetic (at times) and while I try, sometimes I think they simply want to be heard and not have whatever is wrong turned into a life lesson. I’m very guilty of that.


I’ve come to the conclusion this morning that I’m going to take the approach with people that I do with my dog. Sometimes, when people are constantly “barking,” or their bark is a little too loud, instead of trying to fix them, getting irritated with the noise, or ignoring them altogether, maybe God will remind me they’re just trying to be heard … and He will stop me long enough to let them know I’m here to listen.


© Cheri Swalwell 2020

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