Sit a Bit in the Ball Pit

28 03 2014

By Carla Long,
Eurasia Mission Field

On Facebook, I recently saw a video entitled “Take a Seat & Make a Friend.” I usually don’t watch the videos on my friends’ walls (“This Kitten Is SOOOOOO CUTE!!”), but for some reason, this time I did.

The video opened by showing a ball pit, like the ones in children’s play areas (the kind any adult with a germ issue would never go in). It was on the sidewalk of a busy city street. A sign behind the ball pit said, “Take a Seat & Make a Friend.” The video showed five pairs of people who sat in the ball pit together at various times.

There also were bigger balls in the ball pit, ones with starter sentences on them like, “Find something the two of you have in common.” Or “Share three things on your bucket list.”

The answers for each pair ranged from ridiculous to touching. One pair realized someone they both love has multiple sclerosis. Another pair found deep similarities, though they seemed so different. (“Someone planted us here for this reason!” “Destiny!”)

There were tears in my eyes when the video ended. I found myself thinking, “It’s so beautiful when people really stop and listen to each other. We always find that we are more similar than we are different. We should do something like this at camp!” That’s when I mentally slapped myself! “No! This is nothing spectacular or amazing! This is merely people connecting on a level that God calls us to connect! This is what we are called to do!”

How many times do we not listen? How many times do we recognize someone desperately wants to connect, and we don’t think we have the time? How many times do we walk away from a meaningful conversation because it is scary or intimidating?

God calls us to connect with each other on a deeper level—a level more profound than, “How are you?” “I’m fine.” It’s a level that realizes similarities between people who are not similar. It’s a level that changes perceptions and redefines reality. It’s where God lives.

We don’t need to be in a ridiculous, forced situation to find these moments of connection. We can have them every day if we become aware. Perhaps a co-worker seems low on energy. Look her in the eye and ask how she is. Maybe your spouse can’t seem to find the words to say something hard to say. Offer encouragement. Maybe your parents feel anxiety about getting older and are unsure which way to turn. Sit with them, have some tea, and be open to what comes. Perhaps you’re on an elevator with a stranger who sighs and sinks into him or herself. This is your opportunity to make a difference in someone’s day. Do it.

So, go out and find your “ball pit” today. I promise you (and someone else) will be glad you did.





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