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If you ever wanted to see love, empathy, compassion during a crisis, excellent listening skills, support, encouragement wrapped up in one package without ever having to take a class or read a book, I think I found it right here in this short video. This video encapsulates what so many books try to teach about listening. Save yourself the money and enjoy. It’s all right here in this short video.
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The following video delighted my soul the last couple of days. It showed up on my Facebook newsfeed. I loved it and couldn’t get it out of my mind, so I scrounged around looking for it and found it on YouTube, so I’m glad to be able to share it with you here if you haven’t already seen it.
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I cannot get enough of this video. I think I have watched it a few times now. Being a lover of music and cute kids, that alone would have sucked me in, but there is something really special about this video that just grabbed hold of me and won’t let me go.
Here is the summary on YouTube:
She thought she kept hearing fireworks and couldn’t sleep, so we sang to keep her mind preoccupied. In the end, nothing competes with fireworks.
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How to Truly Listen, Show Love and Compassion
Ok, so we’ve got this way cool dad who is up late at night with his child because she couldn’t sleep. I’m guessing she may have been frightened or worried, or just disturbed by noises she was hearing – real or imagined – but the sweet child could not sleep.
So, in comes dad to soothe his anxious daughter. He knows her. He loves her. He tries to get her mind on something she can connect with – something they have shared together – something that instantly gives her peace, comfort – the music that they have obviously done many times before. It is very evident that this is nothing new for her – they have rehearsed this, at the age of 4, she has learned how to sing in 2-part harmony (this choir mom is smiling). He has invested in a relationship with his child and it is evident in this video that they are able to read each other like a book.
Ok, so dad starts playing on the ukelele and his sweet young thing then stops her dad multiple times during the song as her mind drifts back to the distraction of fireworks. Dad allows her to do this. He doesn’t tell her it’s nothing, he doesn’t tell her to quit thinking about it. Within a 30-second span she has interrupted the song at least 3 or 4 times with concern about the fireworks.
Silence is Golden
One of those times, she has hushed her father, he stops playing, and there is dead silence for about 7 or 8 seconds as they both listen . . . . to silence . . . . . . Notice that his face mirrors hers in what she is feeling, regardless of the fact that he is not afraid of the fireworks. He stooped down to her level emotionally. What humility! Then then dad starts to sing and play again and she joins in – – she’s okay with her daddy leading.
It’s like a gentle tug-of-war with who gets to lead. Can you imagine, a big man allowing his little girl lead him? It’s not just that, he’s allowing his little girl to feel.
Ok, then we get to a fun part for me as a musician. At the 1:04 mark on the video, this little 4-yr old thang wants more than just the melody line and so we can hear her tell her dad to sing a specific part where they echo each other. I love it. She does a great job holding down her own vocal part while her dad sings another vocal part. Folks, if you have never sung harmonies or rounds, this is not an easy task to do without other people helping. Dad has spent much time invested in his precious daughter.
Her ability to do this vocal part alone also speaks loud to me. She’s feeling confident enough to sing/stand/be alone at this moment even with other negative things are going on around her. Beautiful!
From the 1:29 mark, I am fascinated at dad and how he smiles when he hears her voice, how he looks intently at her while she is singing. Oh, to have a father’s eyes look so lovingly at a daughter. :::it’s a good thing I’m not wearing mascara, I’m losing it::::
Ok, at 1:59, after some fantastic singing, she hears something again, “what’s that sound?” Dad pauses with her, listens, but then takes the lead and starts singing again. She feels safe. At the end, she really hams it up and we hear her full voice with a little stage vibrato thrown in for good measure.
This video represents so much to me. It encourages me to really know my kids in an intimate way. It also represents love, grace, and the importance of meaningful relationships in good times and in bad. This dad is my hero.
I imagine Jesus would be like this. And I also imagine that this is the very best way to deal with people in a crisis: to spend time with them as they process what is going on, to listen, to validate, to accept, to offer grace and hope. Yes. This is how I want to respond to people in a crisis.
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