Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Words that Warmed Me and Disturbed Me


Lonliness

Originally uploaded by emanuele.pagni

As I listened to the words that came out of their mouth, my heart was warmed, but also disturbed. My heart was warmed, because the words that I heard were meaningful, heart felt and created a deeper bond between the one who spoke them and myself. I could sense that though we hadn’t known each other for too long, there was growing sense of trust that we shared. As they opened their heart up to share part of their story with me, I felt honored and privileged. I took the time to listen as they walked me through various rooms in their heart. We didn’t visit every room, and even the rooms we visited were not fully explored, because while trust was building. Their was a recognition that trust takes time.

My heart was not only warmed, it was also disturbed. How could these words be disturbing when they were so warm? Because of the timing of the words that I heard. As I took time to reflect on these words, it caused me to ask a number of questions.

Why do so many people choose to live their lives in the comfort of the cocoon they have created instead of breaking through larvae and spreading their wings?

How could I be the first person that have heard these words when enough time had elapsed that surely someone else would have heard these words?!?

Why does loneliness visit far too many people for far longer than need be?

What has happened in our society to cause something like this to happen? Is the urbanization of the world causing us to be less hospitable? Do people allow their fears to overcome their love or are we just plain too busy?

These words were spoken by two different people this week. They were the same words but out of two different people’s mouths. What were those words? Who were the people who spoke these words to me?

One person was a Buddhist from Thailand who has lived in the United States for over a year. The other person was a Muslim from Tajikistan, who has lived in the United States for over a year and a half. So what were those words that were spoken to me, words that both warmed and disturbed me? “You are my first American friend.”


2 Responses to Words that Warmed Me and Disturbed Me

  1. Jonathan King says:

    Sits heavy, doesn’t it? It’s a sobering thought, but I read last year that something like 70% of international students in American never step foot in an American home. I pray that the Church in America can freshly rediscover hospitality and embrace the myriad sojourners in our midst. I got to have a couple guys over from Saudi Arabia last year, and one of the guys became an instant friend. But I ignore so many others. Thanks for the reminder, JR.

  2. jrwoodward says:

    Jonathan,

    Hey it does sit heavy. I will join you in your prayer that we might grow in our hospitality. Thanks for your thoughts.

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