This afternoon I was at a local coffee shop doing some reading and couldn’t help but overhear the conversation at the table next to me. A young (college-aged) guy and gal were sitting at a small table trying to enjoy what seemed like an afternoon coffee date. At first I though, “Oh that’s nice.” But after listening (unintentionally, of course) I started to really feel for the girl. The guy was talking endlessly about himself and the stuff he did or liked.
But as the conversation progressed, I realized that she was doing the same thing. There was very little actual conversation going on. It was mostly a series of statements by one person followed by somewhat related statements by the other person. It was really painful to listen to. A part of me can’t imagine that there will be a second date for those two, but if most of their interactions are like that, I suppose there probably will be.
I kept thinking as I listened that if just one of them would ask the other a question it would change everything. They might begin to learn something about each other. They might actually connect on a deeper level than just what kind of computers they used and how much they saw people drink before the basketball game last weekend. They might even learn enough to know whether or not they wanted to have another date.
It made me wonder if they even knew how to be curious about another person. I know that I’m not always the most curious person about others and I have to work at it at times, but I also know how rewarding it is when I do. It also reminded me why J and I want to do the kind of work that we have been trained for. We want others to learn how to connect deeply with one another and God. And, if nothing else, have more enjoyable dates.