talking with dad.

“Subway?” I texted Hope.

She wrote back. “That was lunch. But I would be interested.”

We’re working in the same building this summer. She’s working with our youth.

We met in the hallway. I was going to take her order, but she said “Let me write four more sentences and I’ll go with you.” I took care an errand. As I walked back to the building I called her. “Meet me at the car.”

She walked out just as Kelly backed up to that door with 12 pails of ice cream and toppings for a youth activity. Hope and I helped Kelly carry them in, talking with Pete who was around, too.

Hope and I headed to the car. As we drove to Subway, she talked through the devotional she’s giving tonight. Talking about prayer. I just listened.

As we were pulling into the parking lot I said, “Leave out that piece of the story.” It made sense to her. She went on, finishing as we got to the counter.

“I have two comments,” I said. And then she ordered and I ordered. We waited, paid, and as we were walking out I gave her my three suggestions. One was something I hadn’t thought of before. The other two were from my experience.

We chatted all the way back. And then we ate.

And then we got coffee.

It was, I realized, an image of praying. I initiate the conversation, offering a meal: “Give us this day.” She talked through what she was going to say: “God listen to my prayer and do not ignore my cry for help.” She had to wait for my suggestions while we placed the order. We worked together to help a couple people.

Sometimes, I know, it’s more complicated than that. But sometimes, it’s exactly like that.


About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

One thought on “talking with dad.

  1. EXACTLY like that. And I find that it helps me to watch what I say AND do if I think of myself in a state of conversation with God…things I wouldn’t want to include in a conversation with my Abba…and I find I’m listening more intently to what He has to say about things. I listen to His prompts…”tell this person they are loved” “listen to this story, he/she needs you to hear it” “encourage this one…she needs to know someone notices her besides Me” When I am talking with my Abba, I am less likely to offend and more likely to shut up. (or maybe that’s the same thing)


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