Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Small Talk

I was at an event Saturday with a group of ladies I don't know very well.  I was feeling confident when I walked in thinking that I would see several familiar faces.  I walked to the drink station and poured myself some lemonade, still relatively calm.  As I sipped the sweet sour goodness, I continued to scan for people I knew.  No luck.  Two young ladies approached me, introduced themselves and we chatted for just a minute.  At the first lull I excused myself to the bathroom.

Why am I here?  I can not do small talk.  My social anxiety is through the roof right now!

I texted some friends, received a pep talk and ventured back into the fray.  

Everyone was seated now.  I still could not spot anyone I knew.  Nervously, I walked toward the first table with seats and asked to sit down.  The other ladies were much younger than I but were gracious enough to try to include me in the conversation. 

When I got up to get my food, I did spot some familiar faces but their table was full.  After the meal, people began to mingle. I went to visit with the ladies I knew.  Both of them said, "I see you on Facebook and I read your blog so I feel like I knew what's going on with you." I was flattered, as I always am, that they read my blog but it's the Facebook comment that got me thinking. 

Has Facebook killed small talk?

Pre-FB you had a few things you could always lead with...

"Where are you living now?"
"What are you doing?"
"How are your kids/animals?"

Seemingly those questions are moot now.  (It's like what a cow things, it doesn't matter - for you Friends fans) We are already privy to everyone's day to day lives.  You have to lead with something bigger now...

"I saw that Tommy made the school play.  How is he liking that?"

I try to never assume that anyone knows anything that's going on in my life. I don't want to assume that people are reading what I write and post. But I do want people to know that I see what they post.  I want to acknowledge that connection.

That's the key, right? Acknowledgement.  We all want to be seen.  We want to know that another human being sees us.  As Christians, we have the ultimate acknowledgement.  Our LORD sent his son to die for us.  He saw us in our sin and created a way out.

How can we show others that we see them today?  How can we acknowledge their presence, their struggles, their awesomeness? How can we love them?

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