“So do you think they should have traded him or just let him run out his contract?”
“I don’t know. I don’t care for their manager. He never seems to have the best interests of the team in mind when he makes those trades.”
“I know. I wish we could just get some solid hitters for a change.”
“So, Mom… what do you think?”
Dinner conversation around the table usually involves my sons and husband doing all of the talking and me doing all of the listening. Unless my daughter is also around, the conversation revolves around sports. It’s not that I don’t enjoy sports. I just don’t have the deep interest in the “business” of sports. After a few minutes, they usually notice my silence and try to draw me into the conversation. But it’s no use. I just don’t feel the same intense excitement.
“I want to talk to you” has the same sense of a one-way conversation. Depending on the tone of voice or facial expression, this could involve a pleasant topic, or maybe not. My husband encouraged me to test the waters with a parent before agreeing to meet. Find out the topic so I could be prepared for possible challenges or problems. When I followed his advice I could usually avoid an ambush.
But when the blank is filled in, it’s a different story. “I want to talk to you about your behavior.” “I want to talk to you about your job for next year.” I tell me husband, “I want to talk to you about our vacation plans.” He tells me, “I want to talk to you about something I volunteered you for. ” In each case the agenda is set. It’s just a “For Your Information” conversation.
I prefer hearing, “Can we talk?” Most of the time I can be certain it will be a two-way exchange. My input may be important, even requested.
And then there are times when I think, or even actually say, “I really don’t want to have this conversation.” Even if it’s not accusatory, it may be something I just don’t want to deal with. Can’t we discuss this later? Or never?
I really get annoyed with conversations people share in my presence. Some people are so loud, talking either on their phones or with the person sitting right next to them. No private chats in either case.
I did get caught one time listening in to what was supposed to be a private conversation. My older sister found out I’d been picking up the extension when she was having personal conversations with her best girlfriend. My dad caught me and put an end to my criminal behavior.
Of course, in the past, party lines were the ultimate source of eavesdropping. But now days there are all sorts of concerns about privacy. Phone conversations and messages have limits to their private nature.
My favorite conversations are the ones that take place in my head. Sometimes I’m chatting away with my husband and then mentally continue the train of thought. Moments later I drop back in with my voice and leave my husband completely bewildered. I forget I’ve left him out of the loop.
I have all sorts of conversations with God. Sometimes I tell him, “I want to talk to you!” in anger, frustration, panic. He’s never “ambushed.” And He never says, “Can you give me an idea what you want to talk about?” “Can we schedule a time to have this conversation?” Of course not! He already knows both the topic and my feelings about it. He also knows when I just want to unload. And I usually feel so much better, even if it seems to be a one-way conversation.
Sometimes those conversations are out loud for everyone to hear and hopefully benefit from, especially when I’m making intercessions for others. Those are the times I really don’t mind others in the group eavesdropping in on my chats with our Lord.
Sometimes, though, those conversations are initiated by Him…. When my conscience is telling me to quit justifying something I’ve said or done.
And then there are those words that are just whispers or that take place just in my head… ones I don’t want anyone else to hear. No one eavesdropping.
And no one can. Not even Satan. Only God and I know what we’re talking about.
Isn’t that refreshing? No worries about tapped phone lines. No concern about anyone listening in. I truly think it’s safe to say there will never be technology that can listen in on those conversations! Thank goodness!
For where else can I be completely honest, completely exposed in my failures, my frailties? Who else could I ever trust with my whole heart, soul, and mind? Who else would never betray a confidence or share a secret thought?
Only my loving Lord gives me that assurance… that promise to keep listening and chatting with me… in all places… at all times.