Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Did you see that? on Facebook?

It might just start with a status update. The comment appears within five minutes and it bites. Were you itching for the argument or did this just tickle a sensitive nerve? That is a world away from the update I *heard*... I see my friend answer graciously, as only she can, but it sets me thinking.

On Facebook, simple statements can be incendiary to someone reading from another perspective.

There's so much more than the words, to what we hear. Even on a screen. Can typeface have body language? Or is it just that the language I use, in this moment, draws on a million different conversations I've already had? And you've had a million of your own to activate besides.

Sometimes it's hard to hear the unadorned statement in the midst of all the triggered memories and associations. And most of the time that context and subtext makes words way more interesting and powerful.

Then there's times when I struggle to listen and not be ruled by my gut reaction.

To not bristle as he accuses me, or not wilt as she dismisses me. To hear a rebuke and not ignore it completely as inconvenient or unjustified.

It's easy to harden my heart, and in the process, stick my fingers firmly in my ears.

And that's when I miss the most.
Opportunities to understand or to change or to bless evaporate.
I long for a heart that doesn't harden, and ears that really hear, in the midst of the blaring context.

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