Conversing or Talking
“Conversation can stimulate, inform and build strong connections. At best it can inspire, comfort, motivate and kindle creative thought. But as I listen more carefully I discover that much of the dialogue in our culture is what someone once called ‘talking and waiting to talk.’”
Anne LeClaire, Listening Below the Noise, InwardOutward.org, Daily Words, October 25, 2016.
As I meet with spiritual friends, I listen and listen and listen. I hear something I want to respond to. Sometimes the urge is huge and I get teeth marks in my tongue to keep it from moving! I have learned, however, that when my friend is ready for me to respond, he or she will stop talking. My interruptions beforehand fall on deaf ears. When my friend is quiet, I try to wait for a period of silence before I speak. My mind wishes I could take notes, for often I cannot remember what I had planned to say.
I am trying to let the Spirit lead our time together. My premise is that if my response is important, I will remember it. I always have a candle burning when meeting with spiritual friends to remind me that both of us are seeking the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes my friend begins talking again before I have a chance to respond. It takes time to get adjusted to this, for I was just getting ready to respond with something “very profound.” Again, however, I have learned that when I allow the Spirit to guide both me and my friend, we have a third much more experienced person leading both of us. People in 12 step recovery might call this practicing the third step, “turning our life and our will over to the care of God.” It is a practice of surrender to something greater than both of us.