Loneliness and The Art of Conversation
A devotional by Glynis Becker
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”
–John 14:16-17 (NASB)
I am an introvert. Like many other introverts, I enjoy time with friends, but often find myself in need of time alone afterward to wind down and recharge. I think of myself as kind of a loner and maybe you do too. Not everyone is great at small talk and sometimes conversations, even with friends, can be hard to start.
Last weekend was busy for me. I connected in different settings with several different groups of people who I’d known for a long time who I know deeply and who know me well. People who are long-time acquaintances and people I’ve just met. As I reflect on these relationships, it occurred to me and surprised me how much I need to interact with people on all these different levels.
Each of my conversations shared something of myself and in turn, shared something of the other person. Some of those conversations were heavy and heartbreaking. Others were light and filled with laughter. I felt renewed and recharged from that exhausting weekend in a way that I haven’t for a long time. I saw how that broad scope of sharing space with others was good for me and is a lot like how Jesus Christ did ministry.
Jesus spoke with small and large crowds. He spoke one-on-one. He spoke to people who were interested in what He had to say and to those who were not. He spoke with those who agreed with Him and those who didn’t.
Some of His conversations with people were hard, like with the rich young man in the Bible story found in Mark 10:17-22. Jesus told the man that he needed to sell his possessions and follow Jesus. Some conversations lifted people’s burdens like the Samaritan woman at the well, which is another Bible story found in John 4:1-30. The woman went away from that time with Him feeling seen, understood, and loved.
Each time when Jesus spoke to someone, they were a little different afterward because of the words He shared.
Research is still being done on how changes in technology and culture have impacted not just the way we speak to each other, but also the opportunity and willingness to engage with others. Loneliness is an epidemic in our society and many people are starved for connection.
Don’t we who are Christians know the antidote to loneliness is the love of Jesus Christ? Shouldn’t we be spreading that message as far and wide as we can?
Actions do speak loudly. We absolutely must act like followers of Christ. But don’t forget that we also need to speak the words He gives us. We can only do that when we’re willing to step out of our comfort zones and have a conversation. You never know what eternal ripples those words might cause.
Let’s Pray: Father God, give us Your words to speak to those we meet today: Our friends, our family and strangers. You have shown us Your great love. Let us share that love with the whole world so that others may believe and follow You. In Your Son Jesus Christ’s Name we pray, Amen.
Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume.
She has co-written several screenplays, including the film Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming.
Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two teenage children.
When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting. You can find her at www.glynisbecker.com.