Faith. Part 5
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 11:15)
I was not yet nine years old when war broke out in September 1939, but I still have vivid memories of those days, living in North London. I recall sleeping beneath the steel plates of a Morrison Shelter during the blitz, listening to anti-aircraft gunfire, and the whistle as bombs fell, and our house seeming to jump as they landed. Thankfully we did not receive a direct hit. I also remember seeing from our upstairs windows the red glare in the sky over central London as many buildings were burning.
But after the war was over, my mother and I went down to central London in 1946, and we saw the bomb sites in Oxford Street. All the rubble had been cleared away by then, and the bare ground was beginning to show an amazing array of wild flowers. How they got there nobody knows. Many seeds must have lain dormant for a very long time.
It was during this period, before new buildings were constructed, that two men were walking down Oxford Street. Douglas was an entomologist, his friend Tom a business man. Douglas pulled his friend up against the wooden hoarding that separated a bomb-site from the pavement. Looking over to where the flowers were growing, he motioned Tom to be quiet and listen. “D’you hear that?” “Hear what?” answered Tom. “A cricket”. “How can you possibly hear a cricket in the midst of all this traffic noise?” “Oh, but I can . . . . There it is again . . . No . . . . I doubt whether you can hear it . . . . You see, I have a trained ear.”
What an important lesson for us. The entomologist had a “trained ear”. It was the result of many years of field work, as he studied the life of insects. Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” These very words show clearly that not everyone possesses ears that hear. A man may hear a gospel message, and not be touched by it. His ears are not open to receive. Another may read about the death and resurrection of Jesus and not appreciate his personal need of a Saviour. His eyes are shut to the message. And so it goes on. The majority walk down a broad road, taking no notice of the road sign that says “This is the way, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)