Transforming Together: Authentic Spiritual Mentoring

Monday, January 18, 2010

It Happened Twice Today

Before my first sip of Starbucks today, it happened the first time.  I was listening to a  mom who has nothing but love for her adult daughter.  They had met for lunch the previous week and the younger of the two women began to share with the older, her mom.  The daughter's job "sucked", the others at work were "sub-par" humans, according to the spillings of the daughter.  She was only working there to pay the mortgage on her condo, and, to add insult to injury, there was no "man in her bed."  She was 30-something,  lonely and headed straight down a dead-end.

"So, what's the outcome of that sharing?" I inquired.  I was envisioning a follow-up Starbuck date, a time of deeper sharing, a break-through spiritually for the daughter.

"Well," replied the mom, "she's not talking to me!  Yep!  Happens all the time.  We get together, she shares, I try to help and then it's worse than before!  The nerve of that girl!"

"How come?"  I asked.  "Do you know what set her off?"

"No!", exclaimed the mom.  "And after all I do for her!  Why, after she dumped on me, I turned and looked her right in the face and said, 'Let me tell you about MY day, girly-girl!  YOU think you have it bad, well, sissy, you're not the only one!  In fact, you should be grateful for a job in this economy!  Don't even think of quitting!  And, it was YOUR idea to get into that condo, not your father's and mine! And as far as a man not being in your bed, well, missy, you're certainly not going to meet the right kind of guy in the places you've been going to!'  I'm so frustrated with her!  She comes to me for advise and then has the nerve to pull away after I give it to her!"

Fast-forward three hours.

 I'm now AT a Starbucks!  Another is sitting across from me, enjoying a green tea, no water.  (Order it sometime!)  She was losing the battle of trying not to cry while sharing.
"I'm so p.o.ed at church-people!  I am SICK TO DEATH on hearing 'how faithful God is', 'what a loving God we serve' and 'God is so good!'  Every time I try to honestly share my heart with someone, how frustrated I am, how much God has hurt me, how ticked I am at God, they can't shut me up fast enough with 'churchy-crap!   Auugghhh!!!!  I am SOOOOO tired of being shut-down by these people who think they are my friends!"

What was it that happened twice today?  People, WELL INTENTIONED people, got in the way of the Holy Spirit in the life of another.  They SPOKE out of turn....too soon. too much, inappropriately.
What is it with us humans?  I think we sincerely DO want to help others. BUT WE FAIL WHEN WE SPEAK TOO QUICKLY, TOO MUCH.

The LIVING WORD of GOD reminds us to "be QUICK to LISTEN, SLOW to SPEAK."  Hummmmmm.  Perhaps there's a reason!

Let's talk about this, shall we?  I believe that most of us have been on the receiving end of this reality....receiving advise that we never asked for.  Perhaps we've even given a bit as well....

Either way, let's interact about what happened today, twice.  For, it is sure to happen again tomorrow if we are not aware.

Learning to slow it down,



Blogger glenda said...

love your sign off ~ "learning to slow it down." We all need that lesson.

January 18, 2010 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger karly said...

My goodness. The Holy Spirit just laid it on my heart today as I drove away from a gathering with friends that I need to speak less and listen more. Thankfully, I wasn't giving out advice this time. :)

Thank you for the gentle reminder to not get in the way of the Holy Spirit in others' lives.

January 18, 2010 at 9:13 PM  
Anonymous Tanya said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! Listen more and vomit advice less! Listen more and vomit Jesus less! Listen more and vomit my experience less! Listen and listen and then listen! Listen to the person sharing, listen to the Holy Spirit, then listen some more! I praise God that I got a glimpse of what this looks like, from our time together. Spending time with people in Texas now...listening a lot...praying a lot...focusing more on being Jesus, rather than talking Jesus! Thank you Ele!

January 19, 2010 at 6:35 AM  
Blogger Ele Parrott said...

Thank YOU, Tanya, for sharing, as well as Glenda and Karly! Your use of the word "vomit" is very visual, Tanya! Who would WANT to receive THAT all over them? No one, that's who! I recently experienced such a "vomit" from a well-meaning someone. It was NOT nice! It was unpleasant, devaluing, took time to "wipe off" the affect and the "smell" lingered....all I could have done w/out! So, friends, may we LAY ASIDE our good intentions and CHOOSE to BE in the lives of others.....more in tune w/ the Spirit and less "mothering" of others! Join me in TALKING TO JESUS, aligning OURSELVES to Him!

January 19, 2010 at 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Darla said...

Hi Ele,
Yes listening is an art and takes effort and practice. I'm loving your blog... I look forward to reviewing your past posts. :)

January 25, 2010 at 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Lindsay said...

Ele, thank you so much for this encouraging reminder. It's perfect for me right now as I'm pondering how best to mentor/disciple young women and feeling inadequate to give spiritual advice. Great reminder to listen first and foremost! Thank you.

February 9, 2010 at 11:44 AM  

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