A couple of weeks ago, Murph and I were driving home when the news announcer said, “The founder of The Sex and Candy Kitchen stores passed away today at age 102.”
“What did he say? “ I asked my husband.
“Something about Sex and candy stores, never heard of those before. Have you?”
The news continued and we soon figured out that what he actually said was the founder of the Saxon Candy Kitchen Stores had passed away. Boy, did we have a laugh at our faulty hearing. But I also took a minute to reminisce about the Saxon Candy stores. I remember the huge billboards depicting a giant pecan roll which meant in just a few miles we would see a Saxon. My dad loved those pecan logs. Mom’s choice was the pralines. My brother, Frank, always went for the fudge. Me, I could hardly wait to stuff my mouth with Saxon’s “heavenly hash” – a mixture of marshmallows dipped in chocolate and almonds.
But there was more than just candy in the Saxon’s stores. There was a gift shop filled with funny little souvenirs, T-shirts, and beautiful picture post cards. Dad would always let us look around even though we knew that no purchase could be made. There was also a restaurant in every Saxon but I understood that if we stopped and got candy, we would have to eat the sandwiches mom had packed for the trip. The thought of “heavenly hash” made the wax paper wrapped, dried out peanut butter sandwiches and warm thermos of milk, tolerable.
At its peak there were Saxon’s Candy stores throughout Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee, each preceded by mouth watering billboards counting down the miles to the best candy anywhere. It was the answer to every traveler’s sweet tooth.
Then I thought again about my deficient hearing. How often do I misunderstand what is said?
Friendships end, marriages struggle, and business deals collapse, all because people do not listen to each other. We habitually listen on a superficial level, hearing the words but not the truth hidden behind them. So how can we really listen? I believe to truly hear, we must listen with love. We must imitate our Heavenly Father. When we go to Him, we can be sure we have His full attention. He never condemns but always encourages and loves. So we, too, must give our full attention to those who are speaking to us. We have to dismiss our own agendas and assumptions in order to concentrate on the speaker’s words, meanings, and feeling. Love does not judge, love simply loves. Only when we listen with love can we truly hear others.
“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry:” Psalms 34: 15