By Ken Cushwa
Youth Pastor Stepping Stones
Communication begins with a willingness to meet where you are…
In a world of cell phones, laptops, virtual reality, and instant results we have forgotten the importance of just talking to one another. Communication is delivered via text or video messaging and often times is considered the most intimate means of talking. The problem is we lose our ability to consider the message or the intent without seeing the person and their facial expression. Emotions are eliminated right away and the directness of the black and white text in front of you now causes you to draw conclusions without any emotions and possibly ends in the incorrect response.
One of my fondest memories came as I was sitting on the front porch of my Grandfather’s house on the wall of the porch and talking.
My grandfather was mayor of our town and so anytime people would be on their evening walks they would wave and say “Hello Mayor” or “Good evening Mayor” and my grandfather would wave and respond back with a smile and “Hello”. Often times they would come to the steps leading to this amazing porch and request to talk with him or just sit and relax for a spell.
Some of the things they discussed were in regards to city business and I can remember not always knowing exactly what was being talked about. What I do recall is a comfort and a peace I felt just being there. It was the presence and small conversations that made me feel special because whoever was on that porch was considered family and treated as such. Love was extended in the form of a greeting, a handshake, the rocking of chairs; and the warm conversation that would arise in company. I still can feel the warmth of the evening, the sounds of crickets, and the great conversations over the din of passing cars or just the sounds of nature.
I often think back to come to the conclusion that my grandfather was simply doing what Jesus called us all to do and often demonstrated much to the surprise of the men who followed him. Throughout scripture Jesus met people where they were and wanted to communicate the love he had and the conversation to help them to come to know him and what comfort and peace his grace could give. In Romans 12:9-10 it says; “Love must be without hypocrisy” detest evil; cling to what is good. Show family affection to one another with brotherly love, outdo one another in showing honor. When Christ would meet someone it was always with an open heart to who they were and not what they displayed or how they acted. Jesus went directly to the heart of people because he knew it was the heart that needed change and not the outward appearance. I believe we have learned to complicate our lives and our daily walk with things that have no bearing on ultimately who we are.
The best way to get back to showing love towards one another begins with your heart and what needs to be corrected there. Once that change has been made it is you who will make the impact on someone with a simple smile, a “Hello”, or handshake. You don’t need a front porch to bring back the feeling of communicating but boy wouldn’t it be great if you did. I leave you with this last thought, if you find that you lack joy or a heart to love others. Jesus is waiting for you to call on him to get a new heart and start back on the journey of rocking on the front porch and talking. Philippians 2:3
Read more articles from VOM Magazine here: https://www.veteransoutreachministries.org/vom-magazine/