February 18, 2014

Love Talks by Dayne E. Mazzuca

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Better to say something to the few than nothing to the many

The temptation is to speak to a crowd. People blessed with the gift of the gab (however you package, prime it, or present it nowadays) love a crowd. Of listeners. They don’t like noisy crowds full of elbows and meaningless banter. They love a quietly poised audience, attentive to what might come next. Or… a quietly seated reader anticipating the page turn. 

This is a good thing. Writing. Being heard. Talking. Being heard. Thinking out loud, creating, pondering, inventing. And being heard.

In the Digital Age this becomes more complicated, with its high noise level and permanent crowd presence. The temptation is to speak, even if we have nothing to say. We want to be heard by the many, not the few. We want followers and reposts and hits. We want to go viral.

But going viral is a very different thing than really being heard.

When love talks, it needs to be heard. This means talking to the few, ideally one.

One lone person attentive to our words. This is love in action. This is what we need. We do not need to go viral, or become a best seller (although nothing against success!). If 1,000 people hear, it makes us feel good. But if one single person really hears, it will change both of us, the listener and the speaker/writer, because there’s a genuine life-giving exchange. There’s immediate feedback. We know we’ve been heard and accepted and that we matter. This is life-changing. We walk a little taller and feel stronger, more connected, more loved.

But to tone it down; to write only one letter to a dear friend or relative; to speak meaningful words up close to someone we care about, this is challenging for natural-born communicators such as we are. We can handle rejection when it’s large-scale, impersonal or even professionally delivered. But when we speak the language of love in an intimate setting or tone, and we are not heard… we recoil and retreat and eventually retaliate. It’s not good.

But love is not soft. It is strong and brave and whole. And it can take a risk. It can speak up and say what is on its heart. It can, in fact, change the whole world. If we speak to one person at a time, or to the many recognizing that no matter how big the crowd, or how high the readship stats, they are still people. Individuals who matter, and souls who thrive on listening well and receiving love as if they were the only person who mattered.

Theologically, this is one of the most exciting things about being a Christian. God speaks to us as if we were the only one who mattered. He takes the time. His words are intimate and personal. He is patient and tender; and uncompromising. He is love.

Learning the value of having something to say to the few rather than saying nothing to the many is important as Christian writers, if for no other reason than it mirrors the mystery of our very own relationship with the living God. And that’s gotta make a difference. To someone.



5 comments:

Tracy Krauss said...

You posed some interesting questions in this post. Writing, being heard, making a difference in what we say... sometimes there is a paradox but ultimately our words should stem from a heart of love for God

fudge4ever said...

It's a good reminder to take time to really speak, to really communicate as if to just one listener or reader. Words are cheap these days. thank you Dayna,

Pam Mytroen

Linda Aleta Tame said...

I agree with what you said that going viral is different from being heard. So true. Sometimes the one on one visits are extremely powerful.

Jocelyn Faire said...

Thank-you. I agree, we are needing to shut our ears at times for all the group noise, and the beauty of deep conversations is a true gift.

Jocelyn Faire said...

Thank-you. I agree, we are needing to shut our ears at times for all the group noise, and the beauty of deep conversations is a true gift.