One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Just running through my day thinking about the conversations.

Wait. Nine, ten.

Conversations of any length, conversations that were more than just “hi.”

Wait, eleven.

You know, somedays that’s a pretty draining thing. Today it was energizing, encouraging. I’m not sure what made the difference, since at least some of the conversations were no different than any other day, and the list of people wasn’t any different than usual.

Wait, twelve.

Okay and thirteen counting an online.

What makes a difference?

1. Talking with purpose. In at least five of those conversations I was listening with the intent of giving advice or counsel. We both knew it. We both agreed on that. I gave great freedom to be able to think about how to guide.

2. Talking with affection. In every one of those conversations, I was consciously acknowledging the need to love the person. Sometimes that takes more prayer than others, but that’s my problem.

3. Talking without fear. I’m working to not spend so much effort on worrying about what people think. Not that I’m being incautious or abrasive. On the other hand, I’m realizing that sometimes in my efforts to be kind, I am evasive or complicated or unnecessarily obscure. Though the people I talked with today may disagree, I did feel more on track.

4. Talking without thinking about getting done with the talking to get on to the real work. People are the real work. Relationship is the point.

I’m grateful for each of those individuals or groups. Through all of those people I was able to understand more of God and of His ways of working.

Oops. Fourteen.

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