OK, I admit it. I am old. Sometimes, I just don’t get all of the hype about social media. Do I really want to see your pictures from high school? Do I have to hear about all of the cute things your new puppy did today? I’m overwhelmed by all of this information. I just can’t listen to it all.
But that’s not the point of social media – my desire to hear or see your story. Social media thrives because it is desperately important for post-moderns to tell their stories. The purpose of social media is to show and tell, to celebrate, to bear witness – to prove I am alive. In the cold and depersonalized world of digital interfacing, telling their story is the way post-moderns prove to the world they are alive.
This need to tell their story – to be seen and heard – is the reason the second lesson on the Emmaus road is so important for us to learn.
Here’s the second lesson: Jesus listened.
- He asked Cleopas and his friend what was going on and then, Jesus listened.
- He validated their grief and questions by giving full attention to their story.
Post moderns need to tell their story. They need people to listen, to really pay attention. That’s why, in reaching out to post moderns, the most important thing you can give them is your undivided attention.
- Listen. Hear their stories.
- Know where they have been, their dreams and disappointments.
Only then – when you know them and when, because you know them, you love them – only then can you tell them the story of Jesus.
We live in an attention deficient world. You have no idea how lonely that world can be when you think no one is listening. Turn off your phone, pour a cup of coffee, look at them and listen. Don’t judge. Don’t interrupt…just listen. In time, they will return the favor. Then you can speak. But only then.
Today’s assignment: Practice paying attention.
Look around your office. Listen to your teenager at home. Read their Facebook pages. Look at the pictures. Follow them on Twitter. Sit down over coffee and just listen. Hear their questions and their joy.
Who needs to tell their story? Who’s trying to get some attention? In the name of God, be sure they get it.
I’ll be back with Lesson 3 from the Emmaus Road.