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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Ehmke, MA, LPC

Stop Talking

"Feed the hungry, help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” Isaiah 58:10 (NLT)

There is A LOT of talk these days. Talk about politics, religion, racial injustice, hate crimes, the state of our country, COVID, vaccines, masks, and the list goes on and on. Should we talk about these things? Yes, of course we should. In all these areas, when we have a healthy dialogue with one another we grow as human beings, especially when we have these conversations with people who see things differently. This past weekend I got to put this into practice. I was blessed to spend time with a special young woman I’ve mentored for years. Over coffee Saturday morning, we talked about many things, some of which we differed on opinions. But for both of us, choosing to listen open-mindedly to one another’s thoughts was helpful. I wouldn’t say either of us changed at that moment, but our perspectives deepened and our abilities to see the multifaceted nature of certain issues were broadened. This is what healthy dialogue looks like — no agendas, just openness to understanding. While I greatly appreciated the conversation, I was struck by the notion that for some of us this is all that is happening… talking. Don’t get me wrong, the conversations are necessary, but at what point do we stop talking and start initiating change in the areas of our concerns? Or, let me pick on those of us who are Christ-followers. How many of us hear of needs or injustices and are moved to prayer but never move to action? I pray for my friends of color, but have I sat down to listen to their stories and understand the history that has shaped their identity? I pray for the sick in my church, but do I go and hold their hands in the hospital or bring their families a meal? I pray for my city and those underserved, but do I go feed them or offer support? Prayer is the most powerful tool we as Christ-followers possess and we should use it. The creator of all things, God Almighty, has invited us into dialogue with him about needs. But for some, prayer becomes another form of talking without action. We who follow Jesus, let me challenge you to stop talking and get moving. Look at our world; it needs us! Just a quick flip through the TV channels and the darkness that is invading is almost too overwhelming. Still, there is hope. Look with me again at the words from Isaiah 58:10,

Feed the hungry, help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.”

Our world is only as dark as we allow it to be. We who follow Jesus have his power within us to “shine” for his glory. We just have to let it out. Join me in stopping the chatter and engaging our world. Jesus goes with us wherever we go, so even if what we are stepping into is a bit uncomfortable, remember, we are never alone. For Your Reflection… In what area of life is God calling you to stop talking and start doing?


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