Often we speak without thinking, especially in casual conversation. But even casual conversations can impact a person’s life. We don’t know what a person is going through. And it doesn’t have to be a serious conversation that sets a person off.
A casual greeting this morning turned into a conversation where the floodgate for emotions was opened. It was a conversation that initially made me uncomfortable but as I listened I became saddened. I listened to this stranger because his heart was overflowing with pain and he needed to release the hurt and he needed to speak the words aloud.
It was a simple question of “how’s the family?” that brought the pain to the surface for this man. The pain of divorce and having his children caught in the middle is excruciatingly painful for him. Still reeling from rejection over the holidays, my question gave him the opportunity to voice his pain and share how much he missed his children.
If I would have known that this casual conversation would have caused more sadness I don’t believe I would have asked the question. But a part of me believes he needed the release of those pent up emotions. Maybe he needed a stranger to listen to him, not to change the circumstances, but to give him the outlet that he needed that moment.
I listened. There was no need for me to speak and I had no words to say. I refrained from the cliché phrases and just let him talk. At some points I doubt he was even talking to more and that is ok. The important thing is that he talked. And when he finished he looked relieved. I hope he finds peace and a resolution.
Be kind with your words and be kind by listening.