I am often surprised by how much I don’t know about people whom I call friends. I don’t know where they went to college or in which communities they lived as a child. I know about their lives in the moment – sometimes thanks to Facebook – but I don’t always take the time to ask to hear their stories.
During the meal at our Maundy Thursday Service this year I sat next to a lady who has attended my church for many years, but I don’t ever remember talking with her other than a quick hello. My church is small enough that I can, with effort, know everyone. That night, I took the effort.
She admired my purse and we had a conversation about costs, styles, sizes, and so on. But then I asked where she grew up and she told me about living on a farm about 20 miles from where we live. She told me how she met her husband. I’m looking forward to getting to know her more in the future and hearing more of her story.
Listening to the stories of others helps us understand them better. We may find mutual friends or favorite places to go that we have in common. Knowing helps me be a better friend and I hope it encourages them as they share their lives with me. Sharing brings friendship to a deeper level which brings joy.
I’m an introvert and this is hard for me to initiate. If I can do it, you can, too! How well do you know people? I challenge you today to take the time to ask people about their stories.
Perhaps you can start with your pastor’s wife.
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