One of my life slogans is “seeing life change up close.” I’ve heard that for people with a concrete tangible specific kind of thinking pattern don’t know what that means exactly. Sometimes when I get incessant questions from people that want me to be less vague and more specific, trying to make me nail down the details, it feels like I’m getting nailed down like someone I know being nailed to a cross.
So this quote showing up on my coffee cup might be a more helpful to unpack my slogan:
It’s relationships, not programs, that change children. [I'd add, adults too.] A great program simply creates the environment for healthy relationships to form between adults and children. Young people thrive when adults care about them on a one-to-one level, and when they also have a sense of belonging to a caring community.
– Bill Milliken, Founder and vice chairman of Communities in Schools, author of Tough Love and The Last Dropout.
I’d add this: I am disappointed with those who only seem to relate face-to-face, as if that is the only means for human touch. I’m more of the persuasion that people can relate and connect with each other using any and every means possible: email, phone, blogging, handwritten note, voice mail, as well as face-to-face meetups. Granted that words alone via the written (or typed) word is flat and 2-dimensional, and voice adds tonal inflection that makes its 2.5-dimensional, and the face-to-face meeting does make it 3-dimensional and fully incarnational.
Relating well doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Even God uses the 2-dimensional written Word to relate with us. Good enough for God, good enough for me.