What do you do with somebody who dislikes talking to you? What do you do with somebody you do not like to talk to? It is not difficult to see ourselves in situations like these. We are human beings. We are not angels who can make things work simply by willing and thinking. Neither are we computers that can produce the correct output by pressing a button. Experience shows that there are indeed people we do not like to be with, to talk to, to be seated with, to be seen with, for many varied and apparently valid reasons.
When we see them around, and when they see us around, we can ride on so many excuses. “I have a migraine.” “I am busy.” “I have another dinner invitation.”
When we cannot help being in the same place as them, we can choose to look in the direction opposite where they are, even if that would mean having to look at a blank wall or search for cobwebs in the ceiling.
I am sure that the Lord, being truly human, also had to face situations when He had to talk to somebody who did not like Him or talk to somebody to whom He was not supposed to talk. The incident that stands out in my mind now is His personal exchange with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.
Jesus, the Jew, should not talk to a Samaritan. The Samaritans are abominable, disgusting to be with, and with whom it is dangerous to be associated. The woman, a Samaritan, considered the Jews self-righteous, prejudiced, and elitist. They should not talk to each other. Prevailing norms and customs could be their defense. Jesus reached out to her not simply for the sake of being counter-cultural. It was not for the sake of being revolutionary that He did that.
Jesus wanted to offer life to the woman. He had something beautiful to offer this Samaritan. He did not start by telling her that she needed Him; instead, He began by saying He needed her. That appeal broke the ice and softened the Samaritan’s heart. Jesus started by recognizing His thirst humbly. He was in need. The woman had the capacity to fill up that need. Jesus put the woman on a level higher than Him.
If you want to talk to somebody who does not like to speak to you, start humbly by acknowledging your need for the other. A peace offering like a gift, flower, or dinner would not be necessary. What is needed is a humble appeal that you can meet what I need, and only you can do it for me.
Jesus did that. He did not allow the hurts of the past, the prejudices, and the differences to stand in the way of communication. There is no use letting the past hurts and the resulting prejudices to rule our lives.
What do you do with somebody who does not like you? Talk to God about that person. Talk to that person as God did.
Sometimes, the communication block can be on us in relation to God. We turn timid and hesitant. We censor our prayers. When we become bold and daring in our relationship with God, we have nothing to lose but everything to gain.
We have nothing to lose and everything to gain when we become bold in our prayers and our relationship with Jesus.
What do I mean?
When we pray, we sometimes act like the Board of Censors. We censor our prayers and say, “This must not be included in our prayers. This is unscientific, unnatural, ridiculous, and violates rules, policies, and principles. What is the use of praying? Don’t bother God about this anymore.”
What do we do? We no longer ask God to help us on matters that we think are silly and ridiculous.
Let us look into our prayers. Could it not be true that you pray to God only for the petitions that can be granted? We present our petitions to God but only pray for what may be “realistic.” We do not talk to God about impossible cases because those are ridiculous cases, as far as we are concerned.
There is no such thing as a ridiculous case before God because all things are possible with God. Let us try to be bold. Let us attempt to be daring. WE have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Let us talk to God like His children. Let us talk to one another. Let us talk again.
Jesus Our Light