“Real Live Relationship”
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to meet my 24 year old daughter to share some time together. We met at a popular bakery splitting a pastry and enjoying a cup of coffee, mine black, hers with cream. The early morning weather was perfect allowing us to enjoy the outdoors while others stayed inside. The umbrella over our table was perfectly positioned shading us from the sun. The fountain with the soft sound of moving water and the variety of flowers with their many colors created a beautiful setting. We were mindful of our blessed situation and bowed in prayer thanking Him for this moment, for His provision and especially for our time together.
Conversation came easy and soon our hot pastry had cooled considerably. There was much to be shared. My daughter had already worked out in the gym earlier in the morning with her little sister, my youngest daughter. She shared her progress towards certification as a personal trainer and how my youngest was her willing guinea pig in varied exercise routines.
I listened as she spoke of the joy she experienced when last getting together with friends from church for weekly fellowship and potluck dinner. She was very pleased that a recipe from her grandmother, my mom, had been so well received, even though slightly overcooked. Unfortunately, no leftovers for her dear old dad.
We also shared some family history that was impacting areas of life today. Moist sets of eyes said more than words could. Time and intention resulting in connection. Real live relationship had been achieved. Too quickly the time passed. We hugged and stated our love for one another before going our separate ways. She to work and me back inside the bakery to use the wi-fi connection to check email.
After finding a quiet out of the way table inside I began responding to the messages received noting that some schedule changes would be necessary. After 15-20 minutes of peace and quiet, two young ladies, I’m guessing between 18 – 20, with cell phones in hand, sat down at the table next to me. My first thought….there goes the peace and quiet. But then, I saw the cell phones at the ready, placed right on the table top, not tucked away in their purses. Okay, no problem. They will simply be using their hand held devices, as so many young people do, keep their heads down and occasionally mumble something unintelligible or giggle when typing LOL, with very little or no conversation with the person across the table. Well, not so fast there old fella, a little too fast on the assumption draw. These young ladies, we’ll call them Jessica and Jill, deliberately turned off their phones. Yes, you read it right. Both Jessica and Jill switched them off and made no secret of the process. I was intrigued!
Due to their table selection, their behavior was easily observed and their conversation easily heard. To my great surprise Jessica begins telling Jill how mad she is at her mom. She shared how she had made numerous attempts to “talk to her” but mom was always too busy. The height of her anger took place when Jessica walked into her moms room early the day before and stated boldly “we need to talk.” Evidently mom got the picture as a conversation was started. But, as quickly as she got the picture she lost it, as an incoming call on her cell phone became the priority over her daughter. Jessica continued to expand on her irritation with her mom’s cell phone use as Jill nodded in agreement adding her own experiences of “rudeness” as she called it. If there is a “generation gap” these young ladies had just bridged it with me. They were talking my language.
As I finished up and prepared to go, I knew I had to commend these young ladies for their viewpoint and encourage them to influence others to this view. ” Excuse me” I said, and introduced myself. I shared with them what I had overheard and how encouraged I was to hear it from such young people. They had no shortage of material to share on the subject and would have purged it all had I the time. I thanked the girls for their appropriate view and etiquette. I also encouraged them to be bold in sharing this view with others. Jill’s final comment clearly stated what it was they were seeking most……”how can you have a real relationship and feel important to someone who can’t be present and look you in the eyes ?” Good question Jill!
How would you answer that question from the Jill’s in your life? Are we forgetting the significance of real live communication in a culture more and more reliant upon electronic communication?