Stranger Danger

Do you like meeting new people?

Are you open to talking with someone you’ve just met?

Or do you prefer to stick close to people you know?

There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. I’d label myself as one. I enjoy being with people, but I need my own space – my alone time in order to re-energize. Most writers are introverts. We don’t have a problem sitting for hours in front of our computer - in our own little world – without conversation with other humans.

There was a time when I dreaded situations where I would be faced with people I didn’t know. How would I - and why would I - make small talk with strangers?

But, that’s no longer my perspective.

The change began in my work environment, where I was put in a position of meeting new people every day. With time, conversing with strangers came easier. I discovered that talking with someone I didn’t know could actually be fun.

Then I made the decision to attend the national writer’s conference for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). I arrived at the conference only slightly knowing two people through email correspondence. Through this organization, I’ve been blessed with wonderful, close friendships.

Because of my involvement in the music / worship team at church, it’s easy for me to hang out with vocalists, musicians, and other close friends on Sunday morning. But, in order to stretch ourselves, my husband and I joined a couple’s group. We initally only knew a few people in the group, but we're having a great time getting to know others.

A member of our church recently died after battling brain tumors for nine years. He was married, and also left behind a teenage daughter and son. His wife and I both sing in the gospel choir. At the memorial service, as I listened to the stories and tributes to this man who attended my church for years, I realized that I’d missed out…

I had opportunities to get to know this family better, but I didn’t take them.

It’s impossible to become friends with every person who crosses our path. But, I think sometimes we just don’t take the risk. We don’t take the time to reach out.

I think sometimes…we’re afraid.

Afraid of rejection.
Afraid of looking foolish.
Afraid that conversation will be difficult and go nowhere.
Afraid that getting to know that person will somehow disrupt our lives.
Afraid the stranger might turn out to be someone we don’t want to know.

And all of that could happen…

But, I don’t want to miss out.

When that nudge comes to put myself out there and extend a welcoming hand…I don’t want to hold back. I've learned there are wonderful people in the world. People who have the potential to bring depth and richness to my life. Hopefully, I can also enrich theirs.

I don't want to live my life in fear of talking to strangers.

Do you?


No comments:

Post a Comment

 photo copyright.jpg
blogger template by envye