Friday, May 20, 2011

On Small Talk and Public Hiding

By Lore Ferguson from Sayable

God doesn't do small talk. 

He doesn't get around to the deep subjects eventually and He doesn't skirt around difficult issues. God always goes after the heart. 

Sometimes it doesn't seem like this, like when He asked Adam where He was in the garden. "Adam, where are you?" (As though He didn't already know...) But in the heart of that question, He was holding a mirror to the deepest inclination of the natural man: to hide. 

This is what small talk is. It is a hiding of sorts behind a series of the day's events or offering a partial glimpse into a very real and very raw life. 

There isn't one of us who when confronted with exposure welcomes it fully, openly, and with humble honestly. We run from it. Even if we don't physically hide, like Adam did, we hide behind what often feels like forced smiles and half-hearted answers. 

God doesn't do that. 

He asks. He probes. He wrestles. He answers. He withholds when it is for our good, but only when it is for OUR good. He is interested in the complex details of our lives and He isn't afraid of the answers we're often too feeble to offer up. 

In community this is difficult at times. Because we are self-preservationists by nature, hiding in gardens and schedules and busyness and children and jobs, we sometimes feel too exhausted to ask questions or to give answers that will expose us. 

Truth hurts. We hear that but most times we are thinking of other people's truth about us. The truth is that truth hurts in all circumstances. Your truth, your story, your sin, your weaknesses, all of these things hurt me because I have love for you, not because you intend for them to hurt me. 

As we live and love community, seeking to reflect the gospel and grace in every circumstance, we are going to be faced with hurts of the deepest kind. Sickness, infidelity, depression, doubts, lust, all of this is raw and real and hurts whomever it contacts--but we, who are children of the Light, must walk in the light. We must not expose for exposure's sake, but for love's sake. For discipline's sake. For Christ's sake. 

We gently draw out, we ask the difficult questions, we probe, sometimes lightly, sometimes more pointedly. Because deep inside of you and deep inside of me there are things which must be said.Not for the sake of saying, but for the sake of Light. 

Why are you hiding? 
Come out, come out from wherever you are, from  your doubts, your fears, your concerns, your wild longings, your broken hearts, your deepest dreams, sit and tell me. I won't be surprised and I won't be turned off. This is the heart of God toward you. This is how He longs to commune with you and longs for you to commune with others. 

Come out! 

Thanks for stopping by on day two of this series! 


  1. Lately, I've been annoyed. . .annoyed with the small talk because small talk can be tough for me. I don't want to talk about clothes and upcoming events and weather, but you wouldn't know that because I'm good at hiding in those very places.

    Thanks, Lore.

  2. @amy, i hear you. i definitely hear you. it's so easy to fall back on those subjects, partly because it feels safe for us, but also because it's often the go-to topic. even if we bring it up a notch by talking about organic food or fair trade shopping or whatever way we make our conversation more elitist, it's still small talk. it still keeps us far from the HEART of what God wants to do in and through us. Thanks for reading!