When is the last time you went a little deeper in a conversation with a stranger or with someone you don’t really know?
Whether at church or checking out at the grocery store - what kind of an opportunity could God bring to you by simply probing a little further?
Well, last week I found out first hand what difference a deeper question could make in conversation - and by God’s grace, a life.
Going Deeper with a Stranger
Earlier in the summer, I decided to take on a "weekend DIY" project and build a fire pit in our backyard.
Well... a few months later, and I was still building our fire pit. Turns out, pulling out yards of ivy is a lot more work than I expected!
Once I finally started laying the stone, I realized it was more of a two man job to get it level and finished, so we hired a local man named Abel to help us complete the job.
His crew came by for two days, and I had a few conversations with him throughout that time - mainly about what we were looking for, timing, pricing etc. All of our conversations were pretty professional until the last day.
As we were walking back to the fire pit area and his team was wrapping up, I asked him if he had a family. He told me he had 3 kids - 21, 19 & 12 respectively. I continued prodding, and he kept sharing until he said something that took my breath away. He told me that he used to have 5 kids, but that a few years ago, his 18 and 6 year old were tragically murdered.
It was a heavy moment, and my heart completely sunk. I couldn’t even imagine the pain he had and still must have.
When I asked Abel how he got through it all, he simply pointed up to the sky and said “with God.”
The dynamic of our relationship completely shifted with that conversation. I was able to share more about what I do, hand him two Kairos Journals, and tell him that I would be praying for him and his family.
What really struck me was that unless we make an effort to ask beyond the typical "how are you" greeting, we really have no idea what is going on beneath the surface of someone else's life.
As Christians living in a fallen world, the need for extending grace to others has never been greater.
Whether it’s asking someone how they are really doing or simply being more patient with the person in line in front of us, let us remember the free grace we have received - and pass it on in all of the big and little ways.