Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Let's Talk

There were about 10 or so of us waiting on a meeting to begin. There were some greetings and small conversations that took place and then--

I sat back in my chair and watched.

Clipart Image from
Everyone in the circle took out their phones and began looking at them-intently. It was fascinating. I was in a room with all of these people-and none were talking-but possibly viewing their calendar, participating in the “virtual world” or texting someone-I don't know-regardless, verbal interaction was not taking place.

I see conversation as the opportunity for beautiful moments, for problem-solving, for creative dreaming, and for encouraging growth. Why do people feel the urge to jump and check the machines in our pocket or purse with every buzz, ding, or ring?

What would really happen if we started talking to each other?

Maybe you've had been in a scenario similar to the following:

Someone asks you how you're doing, you say, “Fine, how are you?” -and inside you're thinking,
“My life is crazy, you have no idea how insane it seems.”


You hear someone explaining a struggle they're having performing a skill at work or expressing a frustrating relationship issue-and when a pause occurs in the conversation, you say something like, “That does sound frustrating” or “I'm sorry to hear that”-and inside you're thinking, “I struggled with that same skill for months” or “Wow, I can totally understand that frustration, they're not the only one feeling that way”

I've seen this pattern in our society where it seems that we are obsessed with how we appear. Beyond the outward appearance, there is concern that we will appear weak or maybe out of control by expressing that we don't have everything together-and maybe we are really, truly struggling with something that seems major to us.

But----perhaps, we're really all more SIMILAR than we realize.

I find there can be beautiful common ground, new ideas, great comfort, and learning that can occur when people share with each other. Sometimes just knowing that I'm not the only one who has struggled with a certain issue, or thought a certain thought, can bring comfort. It's nice to not feel alone in an experience.

For Christians consider,

“23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25

We're called to encourage each other. Life is hard. I encourage you to reach out to those around you and have a conversation. Talk about what's going on in each other's lives, share experiences, and pray for each other. The challenge extends to ignoring that buzz of a text when you're engaged in a conversation and to take concentrated time to focus on the person you're with.

Take the challenge-talk, listen, and share with the people in your life-you might be surprised how blessed the interaction can be.


  1. I totally agree with this! I hate going out to dinner with friends and everyone pulls out their phones. I asked once, "What would we do without our phones?" Someone bravely replied, "We'd probably talk." It's beyond frustrating.
    I think there are also a few other sides to the issue of sharing our own thoughts and emotions with others. 1. I tend to not share because I feel as though I would be turning the conversation around to me and what I'm going through, instead of listening. I'm not always the best at sharing to show that I care and can relate. Or else it doesn't seem as though it would help the situation for us to both realize that we're facing the same thing with no clue what to do about it. 2. Gossip. It is so easy when someone else is venting their frustrations about a mutual friend to jump on the bandwagon and completely assassinate the character of the mentioned friend, especially if you have a similar personal experience with said person. 3. Trust. I don't like sharing with some folks, particularly because of how they talk about other people. I have the nagging/sinking feeling that whatever I share will be misinterpreted and/or then shared with who knows who else.
    There are a few people that I'm comfortable talking to about nearly anything with and try my best to listen to them and give my full attention, even if it's in a Skype chat ;).

    1. Yikes. Sorry this took me so long to reply - things have been crazy around here! :) I actually agree with you about not divulging everything to everyone who asks.

      But I think what Courtney was getting at here was the fact that we can answer more honestly - about ourselves and not going into gossip - even without getting into it deeply. Instead of "Fine" you could say "I'm actually going through a lot right now. Thanks for asking!" without compromising trust. :)