This post is dedicated to Sue Rozell – my mentor, my sister in Christ, my friend who this week went home to be with our Lord. I will truly miss our good conversations.
Lately I have been spending most of my time at home alone, focused on work and projects that have deadlines with not a lot of wiggle room. I very much enjoy this time alone in productivity and gain a great sense of satisfaction in the creative process, but still I often lay my head down at night feeling that something is missing. I realized driving home from my visit with my sister last week what it is: Conversation. Really good conversation.
My husband is a night owl and I’m a morning person (not functioning quite as early as in days past, but most definitely at my best when the sun is rising). It is not unusual that later in the evening he will approach a really good subject that could prompt some quality exchange. I’ll know it is a worthy topic yet my response is often a pat reply because I simply lack the mental energy to engage. I make a note to come back to the subject another day but the thought gets lost in the next day’s activity…
We need good conversations. You know, the kind that make you think hard or perhaps even question your position on a matter. Conversations where we are listening as much as talking. Discourses that put our perceived barriers into perspective because they allow for differences. Dialogues that stir our passions and ignite us to go deeper into the meaning of our lives. Fearless discussions that open the paths to growth and change. Words so rooted in love that they draw others into a refuge where masks can be dropped and freedom can be found.
In our day and time it is easy to miss the value of good conversations. Technology that allows for the faceless relay of information has crippled us. We often mistake social media posts for conversation, text our words of encouragement rather than take the time to call or visit, or email our responses to situations in order to avoid conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I love the opportunities for communication that technology provides. But I must admit, I’ve too often succumbed to the ease and efficiency of its use rather than allowing the inconvenience to my plans that real conversation may present.
I’ve known for a long time that I lack the skill to sustain chit-chat for any length of time. I am easily bored with talk of things that are insignificant to me and that category is quite large. I’m no fashionista, decorator, traveler, entertainer, philosopher or multitudes of other things. I greatly appreciate the fact that God has gifted us each differently but I struggle in conversation when my very limited knowledge (and interest) of temporal things has very quickly been exhausted. I can talk “sewing” quite well but even that only takes me so far… Wow. I sound reeaaaalllllyyyyy boring.
I love the opportunities I am offered to stand and speak or teach. I am passionate about my God and my faith, ever-ready to share the things He has done in my life. I love when the sessions allow for interaction and questions. I no longer fear those who may disagree with my perspective because I believe in this life we have much to learn from each other. I thoroughly enjoy when someone takes the time on a break between sessions to seek me out and talk. Really talk.
Through the years I’ve been blessed to have people in my life who have both gently led into and aggressively provoked deeper conversations. Some have spoken truly profound things to me in the midst of simple conversations not knowing their words would have an eternal impact. Others have come with difficult words that at the time left me speechless and feeling as if I were gasping for air, only to discover later that the painful truths exposed served to water seeds of needed change. Many have come with exhortation and encouragement that helped keep my feet on the path that was and is mine to walk. We all need more good conversations.
I am mourning the loss of my friend and already missing the sound of her voice. As I praise God for her life and say my goodbye, I pray that I will be half the woman of God that she was. I want to brew more coffee and invite more people into good conversations in the hopes that some will walk away having found what I found with her – a hunger for more of Him.
“Good conversations” was written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com
Two Friends Young Girls Talking PAINTING BY CARL SCHWENINGER JUNIOR