Speak up! they say. Engage in conversation! they say.
It’s not so easy. In a room full of people, we’re a foreign voice. We’re an unknown.
People don’t like the unknown. I certainly don’t. It’s uncomfortable. It forces both parties out of their shells, which makes for some pretty choppy waters.
The goal is to get past that initial moment of awkwardness. Once that chasm is bridged, words can flow freely. There aren’t anymore uncomfortable pauses. Rather, silence is okay. When the words are no longer awkward, the silence isn’t, either.
It seems to me that most friendships begin with a form of awkwardness. It takes a healthy amount of courage to step out and expose oneself to a new human. But once that step has been taken? Wow. Great things can happen.
With some people it happens faster than with others. At that point, it’s about being patient and trusting with the big picture. We can’t rush something that needs time to develop, nor can we slow down something that’s intended to start right here and right now.
God gives us the spirit of courage to speak, even though we are human and tremble (2 Timothy 1:7). Therefore, let us go forth in faith, seeking ways to pursue as we have been pursued in Christ’s love.