“A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together.” [Margaret Atwood]
Words carry power. Talking to people carries the potential to unlock things that were previously unreachable in their life. A simple conversation might unlock a future friendship. A simple conversation might uncover a hidden commonality between two people, and lead to growth and healing. As people, we were created to be in relationship with one another. A product of being in relationship with people is being willing to break the silence to begin a conversation.
One of our core values at Wesley is “Break the Silence.” At its simplest, the truth behind that value is that breaking silence with other people is one of the best things we can do to show them the love of God. Most people would say there is a some fear associated with breaking the silence with people, especially with those they don’t know. There is always that resistance we feel before we strike up a conversation with someone. Our culture times tells us that best thing we can do is keep to ourselves and don’t disrupt others. But this is one area in which through being counter cultural we can love people really well.
I love the words of Margaret Atwood. “Powerlessness and silence go together.” God puts people in our everyday life so that we can show them the love of Jesus. Sometimes that might be through doing something nice for them, but most times it will look like you having conversations with people. It is through breaking the silence that we extend ourselves to actually be used by the Holy Spirit in the words we say. When you break the silence with someone, you communicate that you care about them. That is powerful. The conversation doesn’t have to be you presenting the gospel directly to every person you meet (not bashing that at all though). It can be simple.
“Hey, I’m Nick. What’s your name? I don’t know anyone else in this class.”
“Hey I pass by your room a lot and was wondering if you’d like to go get lunch with me at Bolton.”
“Hey I’ve never seen you at Freshley before. Do you have anyone to sit with?”
“Hey I really like those shoes. Where’d you get them?”
It really is crazy what happens when we are simply open to having conversations with people we don’t know. Success isn’t determined upon if you think the conversation went well, or if it was awkward or not (most likely it will be a little). Success is determined on if you are simply willing to break that initial silence.
As you go about today, ask God to make you aware of people around you. Open yourself up to take a risk and strike up a conversation with someone. Amen!