Monday, April 30, 2012


American Gothic Face Time, Columbus, OH

Recent statistics reveal that about 31 million Americans live alone, representing over one fourth of the nation’s households. The migration to the burbs along with central heating and cooling has left many folks living in larger spaces around mostly strangers. Consequently, many people have learned to connect with each other via relatively new electronic means. However, Internet social media such as Facebook only accounts for about one tenth of our conversations compared to three quarters that still occur face-to-face. Online conversations appear to be mostly about “what’s happening” versus face time conversations about real life experiences. When I was involved in corporate management, I always practiced MBWA, Management by Wandering Around. Not because I enjoyed the exercise, although it’s a good way to rest your eyes from staring at a computer screen every hour or so, but because I found it much more personal and revealing than e-mails or phone calls. E-mails can be impersonal and many folks use voice mail to screen their calls. When you’re standing outside someone’s desk, you generally receive an invitation to briefly chat, which engages body language and eye contact (the window to the soul). And that face time connection can be invaluable when trying to connect and assess someone’s commitment or understanding of an issue. Of course, any connection is better than none at all.

When you think about it, everyone is strongly encouraged to build an active relationship with our creator by way of daily prayer—which by the way is instantaneous and always has an open line connected to the power source. Some folks seem to have a harder time with this than others, but it seems to me that the most effective prayers are simply engaging God in conversation. If that appears to seem a bit one sided, perhaps we’re not engaging in the fifty percent of the art of conversation which is listening. But what of face time? I’ve read and firmly believe that God still communicates with us every day of our lives. He actually became flesh and walked among us two thousand years ago, talking to everyone who had ears to listen and looking into the eyes of people’s souls. And today he still uses flesh and blood folks to communicate with us. After all, we were created in his image and he has done something about all the suffering in this world—he created you and me.

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