Finding Our Way Through Conversations We’re Expected to Have
When we’re stuck keeping our words to ourselves
It is always a risk to bear the cross of Christ, to carry it through the procession of family dissonance. I find myself stuck in this cycle of defending the faith, my Biblical worldview considering what is happening in the culture, as I’m surrounded by extended family or perusing conversations online.
This past month, I had to bring myself to break away from expectations that weigh upon my shoulders while questioning my intentions for pursuing or dabbling in potential areas of risk in which a measured response is warranted, in which prayer and supplication are necessary.
It’s vague, I know, this conversation that so many of us are having. It’s even tiresome, I would risk saying. We have a pulse on what Christian writers are saying about the topic of ethnic harmony and unity within the church. The conversation abounds in the fringes and in the growing circles of influence nowadays.
But I need to ask myself: what can I add to what Christ has already said?
Nothing. And I’m stuck there, wanting to say something. But I hold my words.
I cannot always find my way out of the conversation I am expected to have, so I lean on the wisdom of Proverbs 9 verses 7-8:
He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Turning down opportunities
Many times, I want to bury my writing in a pit. The pressure to perform is fierce.
Remember when Moses was chosen to be the instrument that would deliver God’s people from bondage? He was in front of the burning bush when he was told to go forth. He was commanded, not asked, to perform. To act. To deliver.
Recently, I expressed my thoughts to a conference coordinator who suggested I submit a proposal for a break out session at a Christian Writers’ Conference. But I don’t want to talk about race and ethnicity, I wrote. And she graciously said it wasn’t necessary to talk about that. I recommended other topics of general interest because after all, aren’t we trying to deviate from the tropes of what has been the expectation for years now?
I don’t want to broach subjects that are too uncomfortable for many to have in person. I am not a therapist, I may lack empathy, I may say more than I need to, I may be alone, again. I think I’d rather learn about something I didn’t learn before. I am sure people don’t care what people do, as we are all busy about and doers of all sorts of things. We occupy our time making trips around our feelings, throwing food at them sometimes, making plans for our futures, applauding our successes, but what do we really want to know about people? We don’t need to be stuck talking endlessly about what we do, but wouldn’t it be more beneficial to hear about what we’ve experienced lately outside of idleness and superficiality, where our inner interlocutor is rich with unpredictability?