Saturday, September 22, 2012

awkwardness abounds

We've all been there. Talking to somebody you know (or maybe someone you don't) and suddenly the conversation takes an unexpected turn.

Maybe they lost a loved one, are out of work, or have confided that they're getting failing grades in school. And it's awkward. I mean, what are you supposed to say? "I'm sorry?"

So maybe you do the easy thing and back away from the conversation. Toss a few nice-sounding but meaningless words into the air so something's filling the gap between you, and then run for the hills.

And it doesn't feel right, but what else is there to do? When awkwardness abounds and words won't come and you can't figure out where to put your hands or your eyes or whether to give a hug or offer to help or whether to speak or act at all. What are you supposed to do then?

Forget about yourself. Because as Christ-followers, it was never about us anyways. Loving people isn't supposed to be comfortable all the time, and it's certainly not supposed to be easy.

But it is the right thing to do.

So the next time you're caught in an awkward situation, try to ignore the uncomfortable feelings. Because it's not always about us - and if you're too concerned about being awkward to listen to what people have to say, you're going to miss out.

...and with these words I speak
grant that I may not seek
to be heard, but to hear
to be consoled, but to console
not to be seen, but to see
to be loved, but to love...
(Instrument of Peace, the Canadian Tenors
words by St. Francis of Assisi)

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