While traveling from Pennsylvania to Oregon – to attend the national Lutheran Women’s Missionary League convention – some interesting “coincidences” occurred. During the layover at a Chicago airport I sat down right next to the mother-in-law of a fellow deaconess. At the same gate, sitting in the row of seats facing us, was a deaconess whose name I knew but not not recalled ever meeting.
In both instances, the awareness of “who” these people were became apparent after someone was brave enough to ask an opening question. I asked the lady sitting next to me if she was on her way to the LWML convention (sometimes it’s easy to spot such ladies)! And the deaconess across the aisle saw a copy of In the Footsteps of Phoebe sitting on my luggage and walked over to me and asked if I was Cheryl.
The first question isn’t always easy, but it is necessary if we want to have conversation, and especially if we desire to develop new relationships. Our lives are rendered more interesting by the acquaintance of other people and their stories, and often, how their lives and stories already somehow tie in with our own lives.
This too is one of the pleasures of reading about historical figures, especially within the church. I have received so much joy from readers telling me that they discovered one of their relatives in my book. A few weeks ago a man phoned me from Texas to tell me that he has never known much about his grandfather, but that he heard about the release of In the Footsteps of Phoebe from his mother, and now he was excited to be able to learn quite a bit about his grandfather (who was a director of deaconess training for many years).
My thought for today is this: Ask the Questions that will connect you with people. You may even be surprised that in some way or another you already have a connection with them!