Tea stains.

If you watched my facebook feed while I was traveling to Nepal, you would think that all I did was drink coffee and tea. Or, perhaps, that all I did was take pictures of cups of coffee and tea.

coffee-04-doha-americanoThere was more. Much more.

But in my life, and in yours, there are things that are public and things that are private. I have conversations and projects that are not for public interaction. I talk with people about matters of their heart, which are best left between them and God and me. I talk with people about ways to live, about ways to change, about ways to follow God.

These are things that are private. Even the fact of the conversation often is best left undisclosed.

And then there are things that are public. You and I may not want me to talk about the when and where and what of our conversation. But I can talk about what I’m drinking with a photo of my cup alone.

And so, while I traveled, I left tea stains across the map.It let friends and family play along at home. At least once, a friend recommended another place to eat in the same town which led me to a conversation I never imagined.

It makes me think, this revelation that there is more going on than the photos I disclose. I think that I may judge too quickly the thoughts of someone’s heart by the images they reveal. More may be happening than the apparently shallow surface.

tea-mountainsSometimes, the only way to find out what’s really happening is to move beyond the media to the social, to spend time talking and listening. Like the kind of listening that can happen over a cup of coffee. Or tea.

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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 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

2 thoughts on “Tea stains.

  1. Yes, it is stopping life from the way we are used to rushing through. Taking time to brew or steep ~ focus and listen with ones heart of sensitivity , compassion, love . . . from the Holy Spirit.
    Often it’s hard to truly see another’s soul. But we owe it to the person who wants to share deeply and God is using us , if we make time to stop.

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