I’m joining Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday. Check it out here.
Visit feels like a word from my childhood, an old-fashioned word in this age of email, tweets and twitter, messaging, or FaceTime.
My dad, the preacher, had regular visits to make as part of his job: hospital visits, visits to shut-ins, or new member visits.
All the new ways of communicating (social media) are quick, convenient, and immediate. I love the advantages, but they are not the same as a visit. A visit takes time, time to breath, relax, and really pay attention to another person.
I’ll never forget the visits we received when my brother and I traveled to Ghana with our mother. We stayed in the same compound where she had lived, and people often dropped by to visit. Back in the 90s phones were scarce in most places in the country; people did not have the luxury of calling ahead to see if a person was at home.
Paul and I had to learn the cultural rhythm of a Ghanaian visit. We typically began talking immediately and asking questions of the visitor — not their custom. We learned to wait, let the visitor began the conversation with seemingly unimportant words or comments. Then when the visitor was ready, he announced the purpose of his visit.
I’ll never forget the visit of a young man from Liberia. He wanted to show his love and respect for Mother by giving Paul and I a shirt. Before he left, our careful questioning about his family revealed a deep sadness; he had not heard anything from his family in Liberia since he left.
Visits. A slower way to connect.
- memories of visits with family when we every space available became a pallet on the floor or a place for an army cot
- memories of the family stories told on visits to Kentucky