We have learned so much about ourselves and others on this trip! We’ve met and visited with people with fascinating life stories. I love to listen to stories. There is so much that can be learned by listening.
We were in Albuquerque for a Hungarian event yesterday and we had dinner with a couple of friends from my college days in Nebraska. We chatted for several hours last night to catch up on kids and life stuff. It was wonderful to reconnect and hear about what was happening in their lives.
During the course of the conversation, we talked about their son’s love for Hungary, a recent trip they took to Europe, and her grandmother’s Hungarian heritage (this was news to me!). Her grandparents ran a “Magyar Cukrazda” (Hungarian Bakery) in New York City in the Hungarian area of Manhattan–just around the corner from the Magyar Ház (Hungarian House)! Wow! We have been to that area frequently since we moved to New York. Back in the day, there were many Hungarian businesses in that area. In fact, I often run into people who lament about how easy it was to access Hungarian things in NYC and are frustrated so few businesses remain. It is just a little wild to me that someone I know from over 30 years ago has such a close connection to where I live now.
The things we don’t know!
Sometimes they are fun connections–like the one I described with my friends from college. Other times they are very difficult life stories that finally come to light after years of processing.
Everyone has a story that is worth hearing. And everyone has a story worth sharing. You never know what you will learn about someone when they start to share about their lives. Maybe the biggest challenge with getting to know one another’s stories is taking or having the time to listen. I know that has been a challenge in my life depending on the season I am going through. But I need to be more intentional about listening.
You never know what you will learn!
When people share difficult stories, it is hard to know what to do with what I have learned. Heartaches, struggles, and joys are all a part of the human experience. We can learn a lot by listening and it can inform our praying.
As you spend time with people this week, think about what they are saying and consider what you learn as “prayer points”. Then pray for them. Sometimes that is the best gift!
On the Road,