How to Hear a Heart-Drop

How to Hear a Heart-Drop

March 13, 2017

“The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord.” Lamentations 2:18a (NIV)

Devotion Graphic

It wasn’t much to look at.

It was a chunky, hardcover children’s book, its pages faded and well-worn. It had been gradually gathering dust and fingerprint smudges for nearly 75 years. Yet I was brimming with eagerness, as I delicately wrapped my friend Trisha’s present in pale aqua tissue paper.

Why be so thrilled to give a used book to a friend? This gift was the response to a heart-drop.

Let me explain.

Trisha and I were born the same year, so we had many common memories of being kids in the 1980s. Roller-skating. Tab soda. “Who shot J.R.?” Bonne Bell Lip Smackers. You get the picture.

One day when discussing our school days, Trisha mentioned in passing how she’d seriously struggled with reading. “I was placed in the slow reading group, unlike all my friends. I didn’t even like going to the library, because I couldn’t find any books that I could read the whole way through.”

I empathized, knowing all too well the battles of people with reading disabilities — having a husband and one child with dyslexia.

Trisha’s face brightened as she recalled a small victory: “There was one book I actually could read cover to cover. It was a book my grandmother had. It was square and was called Mary Lee and the Mystery of the Indian Beads. I’d curl up on the sofa and read the whole thing. Oh, how I loved the feeling I got from reading that book!”

That story was more than just a window into Tricia’s past. It was a “heart-drop.” A heart-drop is when a person, either directly or in a cryptic way, gives you a peek into their heart. It may be through actual words, or you might pick up on a feeling, perhaps sadness or loneliness.

My friend’s heart surfaced as she talked about a time in her life when she felt significant, safe and no longer inferior to the rest of the kids. At that moment, her heart expressed through her words a tender and raw emotion. A longing for someone to understand, for someone to say: “I’m listening. I hear you.”

I left our conversation that day determined to find a copy of that book. Thanks to an online site, I victoriously scored a retro copy of it.

When Trisha opened her gift that night in her living room, she could scarcely believe her eyes. She looked up at me with such excitement. “Wait! But how did you know?” she exclaimed.

I reminded her of our conversation months earlier, which she had forgotten. And she couldn’t believe I had remembered — and then acted upon it.

Lamentations 2:18 was written during the time the ancient Israelites were held in captivity. The first part of the verse announces God hears our heart-cries: “The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord.”

God knows what pains us and what brings us pleasure. He has access to our deepest longings for significance. He observes our desire to be noticed, accepted, validated and loved.

But often God uses people to hear the cries of other people and respond with sincere love and care, to reach out and hearten another soul. If we will only learn to pay attention, to live alert. We can purpose to listen between the spoken words to understand what others are really feeling — and what they are trying to say. We reflect the love of Jesus as we seek to hear the heart-cries of another.

May we become skilled at tuning our ears to the heart-drops of those around us and then responding with a thoughtful gesture. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate gift. It can be a kindly spoken word. A handwritten note. A loving text or encouraging comment left on social media. A shared heart over a cup of coffee. A brief moment where we put ourselves to the side for a moment to pause. To notice. To respond. To echo God’s heart toward them.

Hearing a heart-drop is an art we must lovingly cultivate. It can lead to the most wonderful times of encouragement as we make it our habit to listen and to love.

Dear Father, may I learn to lean in and listen, hearing the heart-cries of others and then reaching out in Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (NIV)

Our next Online Bible Study, Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman starts soon! Join us as we step into a new, purpose-filled life of loving others the way Jesus does. Get your copy in the bookstore today, and you’ll receive 12 free bonus items from Karen!

Karen is so thrilled about the upcoming Online Bible Study for Listen, Love, Repeat, that she’s doing a fabulous giveaway! Stop by to connect with Karen today!

Can you think of a time when someone heard you give a heart drop? What happened? How did their attentiveness speak love to you?

© 2017 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

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  1. How many opportunities do we miss to bless someone because we aren’t listening to their hearts? Thank you, Karen, for your timely words.

  2. Beautiful devotion. TFS.

  3. Kathy Davis says:

    This was beautiful, thank you for sharing this.

  4. Truly one of your best posts. Thank you for letting us hear this part of your heart.

  5. This is a powerful post! Such truth here. We all need to feel that someone is listening and that they “hear” those deep truths in us. May we all listen intently today.

  6. Camilla Avila says:

    Am interested in this on line Bible study

  7. Heart-drop what a sweet word with so much meaning. Thank you so much for this devotion. It’s something I will try and do daily. Listen to someone’s heart. There are so many hurting people out there just waiting to be validated,to know someone is truly listening and cares. Oh if we could all live this out daily. Thank you for this precious reminder to be still and truly listen.

  8. Camilla Avila says:

    Please sign me up for this free bible study

    • Sonya Snoderly says:

      Camilla, there is a link at the top of the Proverbs 31 site for you to sign up for the study. I discovered this ministry last night while searching for a womens bible study that would fit my needs and my schedule. You would think it would be easy to find, but it has been a daunting task. I am excited to try a womens bible study in this new way. I do plan to build face to face relationships with the women in my church who God places in my path via different arenas such as First Impressions team (greeter ministry), women’s ministry, life group, and other avenues. I just could not get my schedule in alignment with the times womens studies are going on in my church, and I have been unsuccessful in finding a group in my area which best suits my needs. Praying this will be the right place for me!

  9. I have been the recepient of the heart drop many times….
    IT is a wonderful thing. Thanks for putting a name to it!
    WHen you are highly attuned and the Holy Spirit is in you….
    That’s when it happens 🙂

  10. Franchesca Ubiera says:

    This was a beautiful devotional and something new to learn and put to practoce! Thank you!

  11. Sue Hebert says:

    Thank you for this beautifully written message. May we all take the time to listen for these heartcries and respond to others. I thoroughly enjoy your oostings. Thank you and God Bless!

  12. Sally Ann Price says:

    I enjoyed this devotional. I have reading problems. Hope you have a blessed week.

  13. Dawnielle says:

    I signed up for the study as soon as they announced this was the next OBS study. It’s a great book.

  14. It is so easy to get caught and wrapped up in the going-ons in our own lives that we sometimes don’t hear the longing and heart cry from a family member, a friend or even someone we may just have met when they talk with us. One of the greatest joys I have in the course of a day is when someone tells me “oh! you’ve just made my day… I was rambling on and on…and you let me” I am generally a person who likes talking and I love to hear myself talk, but God is teaching me to be more quiet these days…..and listen…I mean really listen to what others are saying……….

  15. Signed up. It is an awesome book.

  16. Rhonda Harvell says:

    In the past, when I’ve gone to a concert or done something fun with friends and shared it on social media, another friend would say how she hoped she could join us someday (she and her family are making ends meet, but there is no extra left over for ‘fun stuff’.) SO, a friend and I surprised her for her birthday and bought her tickets to a concert of a group ‘from our youth’, and we are going this Friday night! It was an honor to not only be able to hear, but to be able to do something about her ‘heart cry’!

  17. Pat Kovatch says:

    What a blessing. Just what I needed this morning.

  18. Carolyn R says:

    Thank you, Karen. What a wonderful reminder. I took advantage of it to message a friend with a note of encouragement. I hope to do more of that, thanks to you!

  19. Just beautiful! Thank you for sharing THESE thoughts. I’m not sure I recall someone hearing my heart drop (sad, I know). But, I had the honor of hearing someone else’s heart drop this weekend. It was so healing to my friend to be affirmed in that very tender spot of her heart.

  20. Susan G. says:

    Loved this!

  21. This touched my heart. When I was a child going to the library every week with my dad, I chose the hardest books I could find so people would think I was a good reader. I wasn’t.

  22. What a great message..I will definitely be listening for some ‘heart drops’. Thank you for a very encouraging devotion.

  23. Lynn vaughn says:

    Signed up for the online study!!!

  24. Signed up for the study. Cannot wait. Enjoying Doing Lent with Zip It.

  25. I’m excited for this study. I have a friend who has a special skill for hearing heart-drops. She always gives the best gifts. ?
    I would love to give her the gift of this book.

  26. I had my own heart drop experience last week. I had surgery and I haven’t been unable to work for almost two months . The bills are piling up and my car is going to get repossessed. A friend sent me a gift card for $50.00 to target. I was able to get diapers and some food. This helped restored my faith and helped me believe that some how , some way , something is going to help me pay the rest of the bills soon. My husband is not a believer so I’m praying that he will see a miracle in this and put his trust in Jesus! I’m just praying and believing that our needs will be met , somehow

  27. This is so great! Too often I am too busy caught up in my issues & my thoughts – I need to do a better job of watching out for others & being a better friend. Thank you…

  28. I read the devotion about heart drop and how to treat a stranger like Abraham did when he saw the three men & invited them to have a feast, talk & rest, well my stranger came last night as I was getting ready to go outside and shovel snow a bird landed right on the banister before I opened the screen door I opened it slowly and he jumped in the branch right there I talked to him for a few seconds and he flew away. I realized later that was my stranger he was hungry he needed food then. I feed the birds in the morning but I should have thought and gave that bird some food. I love nature & animal’s (not good w/ people, though, but couldn’t be happier these day’s). I pray God forgives me, Lord PLEASE forgive me.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It really touched me.

  30. Thanks Karen. Such a beautiful way to encourage a friend. I’m praying for simple ways to show love to neighbors.

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