Joan Levy Earle, December 4 2019

The art of conversation

Originally written by Joan Levy Earle for igNation on Dec 4th, 2019

Have you noticed that the age of real conversation has been replaced by more frequent texting? Who uses the telephone anymore to inquire what time we should meet for a lunch or dinner?

Your spouse is headed to the grocery store mid-week and you forgot to add mushrooms to the shopping list. Just send a text and say: “Forgot about mushrooms. Need those too.”

The result of all of this texting is that we say what we need to say but do not have to await a response. A text is secure; it is there on the receiver’s phone and cannot be disputed or forgotten. Unfortunately, one of the problems with one-sided statement making is that we no longer expect a response and we may have lost some of our ability for interaction.

I have a loving sister who phones me almost every day. She is ten years younger and a very caring woman. Because I am widowed and have no family living with me, she has made it her mission to keep a closer watch over my life, which is truly a treasured thing.

One of the problems for us who are living alone is that we are bursting with things to share when that telephone rings. I remember when our mother was widowed and I was living in another city from her, I would call her almost daily and she too, talked on and on, sharing all she had to share and did not stop to catch a breath. I couldn’t get a word in until she had finished letting me know all of her news. I did understand her need to share because I might have been the only person she spoke to that whole day.

Now I find myself doing the same thing to my younger sibling. She reminded recently, that sometimes she has a question when I am describing an event I have attended or about someone who had paid me a visit. She has to wait for me to finish my lengthy story before she can speak. She is right; there are times when I am so anxious to share my news that I forget that she might also have something to say or a question to ask.

We probably do the same thing when we converse with the Lord. No, He doesn’t require us to text Him, but I have no doubt that when we are full of problems, needs or things we have to share, that we forget to also sit in silence and await His messages.

Silence takes effort because the world is so full of distractions. He will find ways to get through to us by means of the Holy Spirit but His Spirit needs an open and quiet mind in order to receive these thoughts from God.

It is a great blessing to have people in our lives who love us, and make it a priority to check on us regularly. Their caring and encouragement dispels the loneliness of life as a single person.

May all of us who are bursting at the seams to share our daily news be reminded to slow down and allow the art of true conversation to return. A conversation involves two voices speaking and listening, and above all, taking turns to share their thoughts!

Joan Levy Earle

Written by

Joan Levy Earle


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