Skip to content

Getting a new thought

February 4, 2013

“The reason you’re so good at listening is because you suck at talking.”

I stared across the table into her eyes as my own filled with tears.  I blinked them back as I turned my gaze to the view of the surf outside the window.  The waves rolled to the shore, slid back out to sea, and rolled in again, oblivious to anything other than their own rhythm and purpose.  I glanced back down at my hands folded on the table.

“I know,” I said softly.  Because I did know.  I do know.

It’s one of those secrets about me hidden in plain sight.  Few people are close enough to me know how terrible I am at formulating my intimate thoughts into English language and then being vulnerable enough to put them out there.  I blog.  I lead life groups.  I do dramas on stages.  I speak at retreats.  Surely I’m a GREAT talker!  Look at all these words I know!  Look at all these words I use!

And look at how many words I can use that never require true intimacy from me.  Look how many require no vulnerability on my part.  When I start choking and struggling for language, you know you’re hitting close to home.  But most people never see that struggle because I busy myself with listening and never have to speak from that wordless place.  I can speak from the places that have lots and lots of words that flow with much more ease.

As I sat at that table I found myself grateful for the extra napkins the waiter left.  He must have taken one look at me and figured that I was surely a messy person and would need extra napkins for one reason or another.  And he was right.  My fingers were messy from my sandwich.  My eyes were messy from the fallout of the conversation.

Over the course of the meal I got a solid verbal spanking:

I suck at talking.

I am guilty of living inside my own head.

I rely on others to know what I’m thinking and feeling even though what I’m thinking and feeling goes unspoken.

I withhold at times when I should be giving.

I have an area where I’m operating in spiritual pride.  

I need to reject false meekness and walk in boldness.

I’ve been living in too much safety instead of operating at my edge.

I still have lousy boundaries in areas, in spite of much improvement.

There was plenty more where that came from.  Each word was a cut, but it was the kind of cut spoken of in Proverbs 27:6:

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

I knew she was the kind of friend I could trust to wound me in mercy, to cut me without malice, to hold my feet to the fire and call me to a higher standard.

I also knew that every word she spoke was true.

“True” isn’t enough to fix anything. I also have to choose to embrace and respond to what was said to me.  Truth that receives no response cannot effect change, no matter how true it is.

It is, of course, my habit to hold things like this very closely.  After all…it’s private.  It’s intimate.  But doing so just extends that list of things that require me to repent and reject old behaviors and mindsets and get a new thought.

Why make more work for myself, you know?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2013 7:20 am

    Thank you for sharing this. Srsly.

  2. PeteUK permalink
    February 5, 2013 2:13 am

    Wow, Lisa, why is it that when God starts poking at something He always does it from lots of directions all saying similar things!

    Your words here are so profound and so close to my own heart too, I feel the ‘rightness’ of what you are saying not just for you ( and thank you so much for opening up here like this I know how difficult that can be), but also for me too. He is calling me to Nakedness spiritually, which I sense means opening up areas within which I have kept closed off, probably even from myself!

    As you say it is a place where I rarely find words to express it but the feeling and emotions are deep there.

    Hugs you gently – thank you for confirming what He is saying.

    And I will be praying for you in this place too


    • February 5, 2013 10:30 am

      Thank you, Pete. And in the midst of this, may we both find Him to be more awesome and more glorious than we ever had eyes to see before.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: