Hello? Is Anybody There? Finding Connection in Questions

Rest. Stillness. Community.

These are all words that I’m struggling to define…to implement. At this moment in time, you and I are probably more “connected” to our world than ever before. We talk about online community building, even creating community in our churches.

And yet, so often, we feel completely alone.

Granted social media, the core of online connection, shows a version of “it”—that something we all need/want. But, if we’re honest, the parade of connection leaves us feeling a little hollow.

Over winter break, my 2nd grader brought home a question jar for my Christmas present. It’s a tissue-decorated Mason jar quite literally stuffed with scraps of brightly colored paper. At first my reaction was something just north of, “What the heck am I supposed to do with this?” But I smiled and squeezed my son thanking him for the gift he’d made.

It wasn’t until he pulled out a paper and asked the question that I understood the gift. It was the gift of conversation…real conversation.

Social science tells us that asking questions and listening to the answers are the cornerstone to creating community.

You all know that I’m a hunter of beauty. But it can be a lonely place sometimes. So, I’m inviting you in. Once every week or two I’m going to pull a question from the crazy conversation jar asking you to join me in answering. Maybe on the other side, we’ll know a bit more about each other and find we’ve made the way to a real online “community”.

In the meantime, tell the rest of us what your favorite conversation starters are.

 

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4 thoughts on “Hello? Is Anybody There? Finding Connection in Questions

  1. My usual way of trying to connect with someone is through my smile and eyes and a verbal “hello”. It is amazing to me how quickly most people will acknowledge my smile and eye contact and my slight nod in recognition of their presence or mere passing on the street. How can we even begin to communicate if we don’t even acknowledge a person’s presence, act as though they are invisible. One of our primal needs is that of the need of “belonging” being part of, member of a family group – being loved and accepted; being desired. I could go on and on but we just want to be loved, included, made to feel welcomed and important to those who are important to us. If we don’t feel included, important, valued we are lonely and feel left out – on the outside looking in.

    1. That’s so true! Everyone wants to feel like they belong. Part of asking questions is inviting people in, but you’re right. We have to acknowledge that they’re there before we can even begin. Being aware of folks around us (whether like us or not) is so ultra-important.

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