Talking at Him

“You’re pretty. I haven’t talked to Amy in a long time.” I made eye contact with the announcer, assuming he was just another loud-mouthed, phone-using customer. One look at him and I knew he was a peer who had high functioning mental disorders. 

He didn’t have a cellphone. He was talking to me, apparently.  Oh Jesus… help me. Use me if you want. What does this dude actual need? I silently prayed. Upon acknowledging the fact that I saw him, the man repeated the same precious words.

“You’re pretty. I haven’t talked to Amy in a long time.”

I did the only thing I could. I smiled and replied, “Okay. Hi, Bud.” 

Usually, that opens major doors to long conversations. Usually, when I intentionally open myself up to those moments, I get asked questions everyone else would consider brash. Ya married? You have kids? You want kids? Do you like me? Do you think I’d be good for you?… I was steeling my pathetically impatient heart for all of it. The reality was, I had time to kill… being peppered with innocent questions wasn’t going to destroy me.

Instead, my not-so-quiet observer gaped at me, finally nodded his head, blinked twice and walked off. The end. I supressed a chuckle as I wondered what anxieties I had added to by opening the way for a conversation. My potential special friend never found out what talking to me was like, though.

I wonder how many times we do that to Jesus. We observe his presence, get curious and, instead of saying hi, we bring up the one thing we think will tell our story for us:

“I’m addicted to food.”

“I’m a drug addict.”

“I don’t love my spouse.”

“I’m not being honest with my money.”

Whatever the line is, we shout it at Jesus, rather than letting Him discuss it with us. Somehow, we assume that since the rest of the world identifies us by our weaknesses and reject us… So will Jesus. So, just to get it out of the way, Lord, I know you appear to be loving, but I’m disabled, I have a frustratingly quirky personality and I’m terrified of rejection……

Instead, He smiles, dips His head a bit and says, “Hi… Wanna talk?”

He does the one thing that has become incredibly rare. He sees the story that made up the person and works with it, rather than runs from it. 

The question is, do we give Him the chance to even begin?

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