Authenticity, Blessings, Christian Maturity, Conversations, Life Lessons, Listening

LET’S DO LUNCH

img_4301

Do you like to go out to lunch with friends?

I do.

After I retired, I ate out a lot.

A. Whole. Lot.

During one period, I repeatedly ran into our new minister at restaurants all over town while he was getting acquainted with church members.

One day, he said, “Dorothy, you must eat out every day. Everywhere I go, I see you.”

I’m pretty sure he rolled his eyes when I laughingly quipped that was because I had a Lunch Ministry.

A MINISTRY OF LUNCHES

It’d be a big stretch to say I have a lunch ministry in the sense that I’m an all-wise counselor. I’m not. But in another sense, there are times, I’m a pretty good listener, and we all need a safe place to talk about what’s bothering us.

 We learn which people are safe–which people will keep our confidences–by experience.

ARE YOU SAFE?

I wish I could say I’ve always been a safe listener, but sadly, I remember two specific instances in junior high when I let friends down after they confided in me by telling another friend. Looking back, I think it was because in both situations what I heard was too much for me to handle on my own.

But I should have gone to an adult instead of sharing it with a peer, who unfortunately passed it on to someone, who promised not tell but did–you know how that goes. Offering apologies afterward felt inadequate.

However, I learned from my failure. After seeing the pain I caused–and having borne the brunt of other people’s loose lips myself, becoming a trustworthy confidant became a lifelong pursuit for me.

HEART CONNECTIONS

God seems to show up when we honestly share our lives and faith over a simple meal. And although we rejoice at one another’s victories, I’ve come to see that it’s seldom our accomplishments that bind us together. More often, it’s when we dare to share our fears, failures, and pain that we form strong heart connections.

642a7-heart2bchainThrough the years, I’ve been the recipient of encouragement and good advice as often as I’ve listened. Some of my most precious friendships grew from such times.

These days, I’m more likely to meet for coffee than go out to lunch. Oh, wait a minute–I did go out to eat twice this week and gathered for coffee once. So I’ll just say, it’s not what we consume or where we get together that counts as much as whether we offer one another a listening ear and compassionate heart. And I’m always up for praying for God’s answer to our problems.

What about you?

Do you like to go out to eat?

If you’re interested in doing lunch, give me a call.

 

The Lord God gives me the right words to encourage the weary.
Each morning he awakens me eager to learn his teaching;
he made me willing to listen and not rebel or run away.

Isaiah 50:4-5 (CEV)

 

Beach, Listening, Quiet

Rainy Days

 
 

Today I’m looking out on stormy skies and dirty-green surf at Navarre Beach. Even the famous sugar sand has taken on a drab cast. White-ruffled breakers and foam provide the only relief to a dreary scene.

A strong wind has buffeted the Florida Panhandle most of the week. Forget tidy hair-dos and full skirts (not that I wear either). The beach flags have told the story: Go-green on Monday, caution-yellow Tuesday, then danger-red blowing fiercely since Wednesday.
 
Yesterday in the bright sunshine, the world was beautiful. Kite surfers, raced across the waves, performing heart-stopping feats. Ah, to be young and strong like that. I can almost see our skateboarding son, Gary, flying across the rough water on one of those contraptions.

But today, we’re socked in with fog. Intermittently, heavy rain blows onto the balcony, making even it off limits. Our company has departed and Terry is napping. There’s a hush with only the muted sounds of refrigerator, air conditioner and distant surf.

I don’t mind the silence or the solitude. It gives me time to reflect on the fun we had with our first guests and how blessed we feel to finally have a space we can share on this beach we love.

It’s the perfect time and place to just be, to listen for the still, small voice of God.

I’m enjoying my day.

What’s going on your world?

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,  I will be exalted in the earth!Ps. 46:10