We always find ourselves here.
Here in the kitchen.
One of us will inevitably be trying to distract ourselves with mindless activities like sweeping up endless crumbs, mopping stubborn sticky spots off the floor, or scrubbing the leftover pots and pans from the meal that was just consumed. The other one of us somehow always gravitates toward the corner countertop; out of the way but close enough to be involved.
Both of us are participants.
Usually the one mindlessly moving around is the processor.
The one who needs the hashing out, the listening ear, the voice of reason, the outside perspective.
The one propped up on the corner countertop is the listener.
The person who mans this spot has a deep responsibility to hear the other person.
They must ensure that the other person is feeling validated and affirmed, with truth ever on their lips.
But this post holds an even more important role.
The role of prayer.
In order to allow the other person to feel heard, while still being the voice of reason and truth, the Holy Spirit must be invited into the conversation.
Knowing when to speak and when to listen, when to give advice or shut up, is key for one of the most important rules in marriage communication taken from James 1:19:
"let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger"
And without the Holy Spirit, this balance can be tricky at best.
After all the crumbs are up, sticky spots are gone, and the dishes are airing out to dry is when the other post gets manned. The stool comes out of its hiding spot from the far side of the refrigerator and placed adjacent to the corner countertop. All the busyness and distraction are gone. It's just the two of us. We can easily make eye contact and gage body language.
Communication can be such a difficult thing in the midst of difficult seasons, or tough days and situations. But it HAS to happen.
Find a safe place.
And invite the Holy Spirit into the equation to help navigate the conversation.
And a large pile of dirty dishes never hurts either;).