Recently I found myself eating lunch with a group of people who all talked at each other. Do you know what I mean? "I did this and this." "Well, I do this and this." "Oh, I think this and this." The conversation jumped to each individuals' thoughts but there was no pause to digest the previous speaker's words, no questions, no digging deeper.
I sat mostly mute as there wasn't much room in the conversation for a contemplative introvert like myself. My thoughts need to be tasted on my tongue before I speak. If not given the proper time to taste, my words will instead be swallowed.
In my life, I've spent far too much time wishing to be what I am not. What a tragedy, telling God that he did something wrong by yearning to be someone else. When I accept myself as is, I am freed to live as a creation celebrating the Creator.
And so, God taught me something through this lunch conversation. I may not be
the life of the party, the most dynamic storyteller, the person who
keeps the group laughing, but I am a listener. God has created me to listen.
Even as this truth has settled in my bones, I can see room for improvement. I am still guilty of just waiting for the person to finish what they are saying so I can stack my own comments on top. I nod and smile even when I stopped listening ten minutes ago. I interrupt and talk over. I hold back. I choose not to invest, not to be vulnerable, not to listen. Not to live as God intended me to.
I want to be like the people I treasure so dearly in my own life. The kind that create a safe environment for me to speak and be heard. Because isn't that what we all want? To speak and be heard. To be known, truly known, and still accepted.