Never Underestimate the Power of a Friendly Chat

I aggravate a lot of people on a fairly regular basis.
Take my young friend, Dylan. Dylan is a computer genius. He can take a twelve-year-old laptop and use it to infiltrate the hi-tech security system of a research lab in Kiev just to release their lab rats on April Fool’s Day. (Not that he would ever do that.)
My point is that Dylan is gifted with computer systems so it aggravates him to know I essentially use my new, fully-equipped gamer’s laptop as a glorified typewriter.
“You can do so much with this!” He exclaims.
“Fine, fine.” I say. “Just switch off all the extra doo-hickeys and let me type!” This makes him want to suspend my computer privileges for the rest of my life.
I also used to aggravate my guitar playing friend (who will not be named). “Lori, c’mon, let me teach you a few bar chords and one new strum.”
“Why? I’m perfectly happy with A,D, G, and Em! Plus, most of my problem is this ancient guitar of mine.” I would protest.
That’s when my friend would snatch the scapegoated guitar from my hands and make it sound like Les Paul was in the room.
“Fine. So it’s not the guitar. Give it back so I can play ‘Do, Lord’ again.” I pout.
Then there are the times when I look around my kitchen and whine that I don’t have enough items to make a meal without a trip to the market. I leave my mother alone in the room for ten minutes and return to what looks like a visitation from the champion of Iron Chefs.
“There.” She’ll say proudly. “Now, do you want me to teach you how to do that?”
“Not as long as I have a finger to dial out for pizza.” I mumble. (Yes, I aggravate her, too.) Let’s not even talk about sewing. She’s still not over the time I used gray thread to hem navy blue slacks and then colored the gray lines with blue marker. Seriously, who looks at people’s hems?
My point is that too many of us don’t use the instruments in our hands or the brains in our heads to their fullest potential. We often don’t even see the possibilities until someone comes along and masters the item, amazing us with what they are able to do.
We all have hundreds of conversations a day. But it’s just talk, right? Boring, mundane exchanges that barely further our relationships, never mind the Kingdom of God.
But then Jesus shows up, a Master with Words and shows us the potential that lies in a simple chat beside a well or a story told to a busy crowd.
The disciples were just like me. They stood watching, dumbfounded – “Why are you talking with that woman in public in the middle of the day? What has that got to do with our mission?” “Why do you talk in parables? What do little stories have to do with building the kingdom?”
But Jesus is a Master. In His hands, a life is changed in a single chat. By His stories, people can see His kingdom vision  two thousand years after He wove it into a tale.
Never underestimate the power of a coffee-shop chat. Don’t ignore the possibilities that can be unleashed by a story well-told.
In the hands of the Master, words are carpenter’s tools for building upon an eternal foundation. And this Master’s Spirit dwells in you.
Let Him open your mind to the possibilities in your words, your simple stories, your everyday conversations and join Him in building something that will last.

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    The Conversation

  1. Beautiful reminder, Lori. Thank you.

  2. Simply. Awesome. Encouragement.

    Thank you!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Words are your gift to all who read them. Your blogs are like sunshine revealing truths that seemed hidden. Thank you!

  4. Thanks for this. It was helpful to me today. Your post about witnessing to your friend (where you apologized to him) still sticks with me because I have a friend like that and haven’t had the nerve to do the same.

  5. Lori, Thank you for your words of wisdom. Jesus didn’t waste a moment. I hope the Lord will show me how to use my time and talents, too.
    And thank you for remembering Harry Chapin, a singer whose wife asked him what he was going to do with his fame. In his too-brief time on earth, he raised our understanding of the problem of hunger in an over-fed world.