Who’s Across Your Table? Tips for Conversing During Tense Times

Listening

It was one of those early morning scrolls through Facebook after checking the headlines. First, did anything happen overnight? What do I need to tell my teenagers about? Any natural disasters? Are we safe? Finally my curiosity shifted from global headlines to my own nation and city and eventually toward my own network of people I know personally.

And there it was.

The post was raw and honest and brave, and so there’s no point in my rephrasing my husband’s cousin’s words:

FB Post anonymous

Did you catch it? Continue reading

You Are God’s Letter

cpletters

It’s my story, but I know it’s yours, too.

For centuries, we’ve been grasping, desperate to make sense of it all, to understand, to know purpose. To heal and mend the unraveling. Even those not perpetually chased by self-reflection feel the hunger to reconcile the drama every now and then.

The genres of mystery and conflict keep invading our stories, allowing regret to keep raising its voice. There’s such potential for us engage in real dialogue — to challenge, to encourage, to convict, to comfort — but we stay quiet. The pull to stay tucked away in our neat envelopes is woefully strong.

“You are our letter,” Paul writes, “every word burned onto our hearts to be read by everyone. You are the living letter of the Anointed One, the Liberating King, nurtured by us and inscribed, not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God—a letter too passionate to be chiseled onto stone tablets, but emblazoned upon the human heart.” 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

Today we have volumes upon volumes written on modern-day tablets of stone — books, blogs, e-books, articles, and more. But there’s more, Paul wrote to those in Corinth hungering for something beyond this world.  You are a letter written on the human heart. Emblazoned, actually.

Ah, Corinth… that Grecian city in love with intellectual conversation, athletic competition, and sexual liberties.  The wisdom of man, over-training our bodies, human trafficking — well, they were actually enslaved by their own freedoms. The culture of Corinth sounds familiar.

Stop hiding, Paul dared his readers.

You are God’s letter written to a modern world deep in pain.  You’re a rescue message of sorts, so radical in its simplicity it’s hard to accept.

You’re more than ink. You’re written by the very Spirit of God.  What might our lives look like if we viewed ourselves this way?

The message from the divine Author is for everyone — your friend who is angry at God, your daughter’s ice skating instructor, your neighbor hiding himself in his work, yourself.

Many times I keep that envelope barely undone, available only to the bold and curious who dare to open it a bit.  And there are days upon days I seal myself up — protected, risking nothing, keeping the truth hidden inside.

But He calls me to more. He beckons to risk and read His message over and over, aloud to others. For where there’s suffering, there’s traces of healing. Where there’s regret, there’s redemption.

A letter “burned upon our hearts to be read by everyone.” Who were you written for today?