Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Talk

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In so many communities, there’s a “How are you?” “I am fine” sweetness in the air. We don’t say that we’re having trouble paying our bills this month. We don’t say that our relationship is in a rocky season. We don't say our child is having behavior problems at school.

There’s so much we keep to ourselves. Shame gets the best of us.

Now, I know I’m stepping on toes as I say this, but from my pastoral vantage point, I’ve seen folks preferring a vision of reality rather than their actual reality. Appearing put together while truthfully falling a part on the inside. . . .

To this situation enter this week's word: talk a word that means to speak in order to give information or express ideas or feelings; converse or communicate by spoken words.

Sometimes leaders are the WORST when it comes to authentic talking.

In my first book, Birthed, I wrote about what it was like to be the pastor of a congregation while also going through the deep heartache of child loss, infertility treatments and adoption failure. I wrote about what it was like move to a part of the country where I couldn’t find work and for a time lost all sense of identity outside my husband’s. I also wrote about the days when I wondered if anyone would miss me if I were gone how I succumb to a lot of nothing and eating popcorn in bed.

I know at the time, I was probably the last possible person anyone would imagine was so low. I seemed put together from the outside. I was traveling the world supporting an important mission alongside Kevin. There were pretty pictures on my website. But all of that stuff, didn't mean that internally I couldn't be struggling. The recent news of the suicide of this celebrity was a case of pain he never talked about either.

And though I am no longer in this place in my life (thanks to therapy and other people in my life who made me "talk about it"), right now, our faith communities and schools and neighborhoods are full of these folks going through difficult experiences just like this. And they are silent.

So do your neighbor a favor this weekend (however you define neighbor) and TALK to them. Find out something new about them that you didn’t know. Invite someone over for coffee. Text someone you haven't heard from in awhile. Check in with the leaders among you too. Ask questions and just listen with an open heart. You'll never know how close you might feel to someone after a simple conversation.

Life can be so terrible. But, life can also be so beautiful when we learn to lean on one another. Who do you need to talk to this week?



P.S. I asked the question on twitter what is a song that you feel is spiritual but would never show up in a religious playlist. My friend, Rob, sent me this one that I have on repeat. It has reminded me once again of the power of talking about life and being community!