I’ve sat here for over an hour, staring at the screen, navigating away, coming back, attempting to figure out WHAT I can write about today.
Is there really so little that was good today that I can find to write about where God was reflected today?
I know that this is not the case.
but sometimes pain creates a disturbingly effective curtain, through which God’s goodness and glory is exceptionally hard to see.
I did see it today though…
this morning, the sun was bright. I slipped on some flip-flops and enjoyed the warmth of the sun and the slight cool breeze.
I received a phone call that was pretty upbeat, and this cheered my spirit.
Then a random stranger sat down beside me and started chatting… she was incredibly talkative…
she was lonely. she has left her whole family including her daughter on the other side of the country and come here to try and make a new life for herself. What a hard thing to do!
What a lonely place to be.
she talked about the things that mattered to her. Her eyes flashed with excitement as she talked about the things she loved. they clouded with wistful longing and sadness as she talked about the things she had lost.
I realized that this woman is someone who matters to God. I realized that in a short conversation, she had reminded me of the dire importance of being in active relationships. Yes-in part because i could see her loneliness and pain in being so alone… but also, in part by making a simple friendly connection with me.
How often do we stand, or sit beside people and say nothing at all to them?
we wait for the bus with 8 other people and don’t so much as make eye contact?
we ride the elevator with someone and manage, at best, a courteous nod on our way out?
maybe we see someone else waiting for the elevator and choose to take the stairs because we want to avoid the awkward silence, or the even more awkward conversation?
and when we break the silence… how often aren’t we met with an awkward discomfort? a sort of tacit question of, “why are you talking to me?”
when did such fierce isolation and rugged independence become a value!?
I can’t help but wonder if the fact that depression, anxiety and stress are at such an all-time high in north america is somehow related to our cultural understanding of privacy, independence, and self-reliance?
We need each other. It was refreshing to see someone reach out and receive community today…. even if only for a few moments.
isn’t this how God created us to be?
And so we walk through our days, avoiding or silently ambivalent to the strangers around us, desperate for human connection, but fiercely independent, through stores, parking lots, driveways, elevators, hallways, possibly on our phones, heads down, texting, or playing games on our phones while we wait and hope to receive a text message, and into our homes, where we quickly open facebook, e-mail, etc, to experience the human connection we are so desperate for in digital format.
Isn’t something wrong with this picture?
so tomorrow… I want to notice the strangers around me. and as simple as it is, I’m determined to say hello to at least three strangers.
How can we share God’s love and His heart with the world around us if we don’t engage it!?
Maybe we will more clearly see God’s love for others and for ourselves when we see each other more clearly.