“We know exactly what you mean!”

29 Jul

I am, as yet, incapable of writing fiction; any attempt by me to write dialogue would sound cheap. Perhaps, post-dissertation, I will practice this art.

With that disclaimer, then, I want to offer you a story. Let us picture two couples: one couple is older, perhaps approaching their golden anniversary. The other couple has been dating for two weeks—they’re both in eighth grade.

The older couple says (as older couples sometimes do): “As the years have passed, our love for one another has grown deeper and richer.”

The junior highers reply immediately, “Oh, we know exactly what you mean! We feel the same way about one another!”

I think we would all agree that what the junior highers are experiencing—particularly in their feelings for one another—bears little relation to what the older couple is experiencing. Here’s my question (and I’ll tip my hand, for those not picking up on this: it’s a loaded question that has implications for other discussions): how (specifically) do you go about convincing the junior highers that their experience isn’t the same as the older couple?


Posted by on July 29, 2009 in Worship


3 responses to ““We know exactly what you mean!”

  1. ilais

    July 30, 2009 at 2:33 am

    How can you describe color to someone who is blind and convinced he already understands? On the most basic level there must be a willingness to listen to those that say the issue is more complex than is said. Willingness to listen requires you respect the one speaking.

    If that respect and willingness to listen are absent then all the comparisons, contrasts, and evidence will fall on deaf ears.

    We must begin by being worthy of respect.

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