Saturday, October 12, 2013

Talking the talk

"What kind of conversation is this?"
Luke 24:17

I had something fun happen the other day.  I spent two hours chatting with an old friend.

I just love the term "old friend".  Because before I use it, I have to stop and think to make sure it's accurate, and that causes me to appreciate how long I've known that person.

In this case, the "how long" is thirteen years, almost exactly.  I met her in October of 2000, when I had a three-year-old and a five-month-old.  We were in Bible study together.  Now my kids are 16 and 13, and hers are married.

Although we see each other every few months, it's been a year since we've had a chance to really sit down and chat about our kids and our dogs and what we're learning in our separate Bible study classes, and who we've each seen lately of our mutual friends.  Oh, and TV shows and movies and how we both love Netflix.  And how we're both limping because I have a broken toe and she has a broken foot. 

And their vacation to Oahu. 

And iced tea. 

I think that was all. 

It was a lovely conversation, but the thing I loved most was the ability to really let the conversation wander where it would.  Life is such that the longest conversations I have with friends I really like, are brief, passing chats.  I have things to do, or one of us has to get home, or her kids are pulling on her, or whatever. 

I really dislike small talk.  It just feels shallow, which, I suppose it is.  So sometimes in those brief conversations, I try to make sure we get to the heart of what might be going on in her life ~ that struggle in her marriage, the issue with her child, a medical situation... Then at least I can know how to be praying for her.   But it's a poor substitute for a heart-to-heart.

This conversation was so wonderful because we had time for details.  Facts and feelings and plans and thoughts and questions and answers.  It's so much more fulfilling that way!  And as I drove home, I felt thankful that that's how my prayer life is, always.  That I don't need two hours to talk to God and explain how I'm feeling and give Him the back story so He's not confused.  He just knows.  And yet He listens anyway, for as long as I'll talk.  And then, wonder of wonders, He'll talk as long as I listen. 

Of course that doesn't last long because I'm distracted by the leaf-blower outside, or the dog barking or the dryer buzzing.  Which is why He gave us the Bible!  So much easier to stay focused, especially for those of us who are visual learners.

Oh sure, there's such a thing as a shallow chat with God.  But when that's the case, it's only because we're shallow.  His depth is there for us, always.

~ "Surely God will not listen to empty talk, 
  Nor will the Almighty regard it." ~
Job 35:13

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