I hope your holidays were wonderful and restful, and your 2015 is off to a great start. We’re looking forward to a great training conference in Orlando next week for our ministry partners. It’s back by popular demand because our partners tell us that they benefit greatly by coming together to share ideas, dreams, struggles.
Technology has been a great aid in minimizing the isolation that people feel. Yet at the same time, long distance is not exactly the same as being there. We all know the disadvantage of communicating over email or via a letter with someone we’ve never spent time with. There are all sorts of cues that our senses pick up when we are face-to-face that we miss through the medium of technology. We evaluate “the whole picture” which includes everything we can sense about a person, as well as the environment we find them in.
But when you know a person well, and know the context in which they operate, then have the luxury of instantaneous communication – phone, texting, even email – words carry much more meaning. In fact, when you know someone well, such as a spouse, child or best friend, you often find that fewer words are necessary.
We talk a lot about relationships at Desire Street because they are important in urban ministry—that’s because urban ministry is about people. Our technology can help us learn about others, but sometimes it can hinder us from doing so. A phone conference saves travel. Texting or brief email is more expedient than lengthy communications or conversations with well-chosen words. I encourage you in 2015 to take time to really get to know the people who are important to you – maybe even some who aren’t so much so right now. Even though you communicate regularly with someone, you may barely know them, and what you might be missing—at the speed of technology—is a lot.
Photo by Jonathan Velasquez on Unsplash.com