Communication is a two-way street.
It is the number one cause of conflict in relationships because often times what is intended to be communicated is not what is received. It doesn’t mean either partner is wrong, it just indicates they are not on the same page as they communicate.
Some of my closest friends have a powerful story about what it means to effectively communicate and learn to see.
They’d been close friends for quite some time. Thus they thought moving their relationship from friendship to being one of a romantic nature would be a no-brainer. However, in reality it wasn’t that easy. While to him things in their relationship seemed amazing and completely on point, out of the blue she’d pick a fight or begin questioning his commitment and affection for her. This frustrated him greatly because despite his intentional actions and great attention to her needs, for whatever reason – she just couldn’t see. It resulted in consistent bickering.
He returned from a business trip out of the country. Anxious to see her and solidify plans, he called her first thing the next morning.
As soon as he called she launched in with her questions . . . it was as if she had been waiting to pounce.
“Are you sure you are really in this with me?” Are you REALLY committed to me or is this just some kind of fling that you are going to be done with quickly?”
This was the last straw for his patience. How could she just not get that calling at 6 am communicated commitment and affection? His patience had reached an end.
“Can you just PLEASE tell me what you need?!? What is it??? Do you need skywriters in Raleigh to communicate how I feel about you?”
The skywriters idea caught her attention.
“Maybe, actually . . .” is what she reluctantly replied. She realized in that moment that it was her own unwillingness to see that was the biggest impetus for the conflict at hand.
She had set her mind on a grandiose gesture so that she would know how much he cared. In expecting the grandiose gesture she had missed the hundreds of consistent, loving smaller things.
Had the shepherds not been “tuned in” and paying attention that evening so many years ago, the greatest gift of all time could have gone potentially unseen. Jesus’ birth didn’t come in a major city with news coverage leading up to his arrival. It happened in a cave in a town 9 miles from the center of their spiritual lives, Jerusalem.
Sometimes the most beautiful things in our lives almost escape us because of our inattentiveness and our inability to focus and see.
The shepherds had some pretty amazing skywriters. But they still had to be willing to see the gift at hand.
Are we willing to see?