I just found out I’m nearly done transcribing the missionary’s life story.  That was a sad moment—realizing these are likely the last words I’ll hear (this side of Glory) from this remarkable man.

I met him once.  He was hooded, masked, and gloved. (Chemotherapy.)  Regardless, that voice was unmistakable. After 70-some man-hours, I definitely feel a connection with John.

Connections are important.  If it is sincere, personal interaction can be more than chuckles, charm, and chat.  It can bring cheer, challenge, charge, check, and change. We should even cherish a choked-down chastisement!

So, Chill. (With somebody.)  The fact is, it’s essential for our growth: socially, intellectually, and spiritually.  But it only counts if you’re more than merely in the same room.  It’s about working at understanding who they are, what they’re saying, and why they said it.  Most of us are more concerned with being understood than with understanding; that leaves us disconnected.

What’s the biggest hindrance to understanding?  Distraction!  ‘Ever had a story interrupted, and the listener didn’t even notice things got hijacked mid-sentence?  (Okay, let’s not discuss who’s problem that is.)

Also, “You Gotta Have a Want To.”  We need to be constantly praying: “Lord, will You please help me desire to know the human being buried beneath all those idiosyncrasies?!”

1 Tim 1:5  The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

‘Not sure how to connect?  It’s not that difficult: Be real, helpful, attentive, humble, persistent, friendly, and… uNforGEtTaBle!

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