Fluff and Other Impairments
"If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear" (Winnie the Pooh).
I read this today: "'I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’ Moses spoke to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their hard lives" (Exodus 6:8,9).
"There are some people who, if they don't know, you can't tell them, Yogi Berra alleged. I don't know if Berra actually turned that phrase—I suspect that most of his so-called sayings are apocryphal—but even if he didn't say it the saying is true. There are some people who won't listen no matter what you do, even when listening and heeding your counsel would be to their advantage.
It may be that their reticence is nothing more than a small piece of fluff in their ear, or there may be another dynamic at work: some people don't listen because they don't want to listen, but some people don't listen because they are broken.
The phrase, "broken in spirit" in Hebrew is literally "short of breath," and is an idiom for weary discouragement. That being the case, intransigence calls for compassion not censure. How can we write off a wrecked and ravaged soul?
What then should we do? Winnie the Pooh's words enshrine wisdom: "be patient.” God is not finished; He is working through their sorrow, our love and our prayers to get their attention. Perhaps, in His time, He will open their ears to hear.