There are a few conversations from my teen years that I can remember. While limited in number, the nuances of breathing, location, weather, circumstances, and meaning are etched deeply in my heart and soul. I call the milestones conversations however according to my memories I did not say much. I did not need to, I knew even then that the words being shared were worth far more than anything money could buy.
I have a few friends who play the part well today. Some I see often, others only rarely. When we have certain conversations I know that I am being given a precious gift. The words are not always easy to accept, I find that the best ones rarely are, but they are oh so special! Nobody else will give these gifts. And the motive behind is them is always the same; compassion, mercy, and unconditional acceptance. They seem to know that my motives are honorable, even when I make mistakes. They understand that decisions are often taken in difficult circumstances, and still believe that everyone involved can learn from the good, bad, and complex.
People complain today that God’s part of the personal conversation with each of us is often quiet, too quiet. In response, I have two observations. God often talks in ways that we can understand. Given the situation this translates into diplomatic explanations through nature and circumstances, otherwise our defenses kick in. Second, most of the conversations we think we are having are a recitation of needs, wants, and demands. We know the facts; why bother God with anything other than our needs? Conversations are often more about listening than talking.
“The one who knows much says little; an understanding person remains calm.” (Proverbs 17.27)
Frequently, I do not understand, so I yell a bit and even try my hand at screaming. The good news is that God is patience beyond understanding and as I finally surrender to fatigue He begins to speak. His words are full of compassion, insight, and a new agenda. They also bring incredible calm and peace.