In my family, it isn’t okay to interrupt someone when they’re talking.

When Julie and I still lived in Tennessee we took a really helpful parenting class, and one of the ideas we came away with was to train a child to put a hand on your arm when you’re talking and he or she wants to say something. You can acknowledge them by putting your hand on theirs and when you’re finished talking you ask what they want.

When Emily was 4 years old, she accompanied me to a Father-Daughter event. While I was singing, she needed to ask me something, so she came up to me onstage and put her hand on my arm – while I was playing the keyboard and singing. As I continued singing, she got tired of waiting so she started HANGING on my arm. This is where that particular parenting strategy breaks down.

So the other day, Joey interrupted my wife and I talking – a big no-no. And I said “Josiah, you’re interrupting!” He explained: “I wasn’t interrupting – I was moving myself into the conversation.”

There may be a career in politics in Joey’s future …

I have to admit though, that I kind of like that phrase, “moving myself into the conversation.” I can picture God waiting patiently to connect with me, to share life with me. I busy myself with lots of other conversations and work and entertainment, and all the while He’s had His hand on my arm, waiting for me to give my attention to Him.

Jesus wants to move Himself into the conversation, and not just at a weekly church service, or for a token prayer at a meal or at bedtime. God wants to be in the thick of our lives, not on the fringes of our attention.

His hand is on your arm. Will you let Him move Himself into your conversation?

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6 Responses to A HAND ON MY ARM

  1. Teddy Harper says:

    We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  2. Kenneth Hughes says:

    Ha! I love the story about your daughter hanging on your arm. She was *trying* to be obedient…

  3. steph jones says:

    Sometimes, in my experience, God has used hard knocks to get my attention. I lost my job and it actually helped me turn my attention back to Him after a few years of putting Him as my lowest priority. I had to downsize my home and simplify in every way. By the time I was working again, I had rekindled my relationship with God. My job loss was His “hand on my arm”…

  4. Angela Cole says:

    We don’t have kids yet, so I think I’m legally prohibited from commenting on anything to do with parenting… but it always drives me crazy when a parent will let a child interrupt an adult conversation. I don’t even visit with some of my friends anymore because it’s just too hard to talk with constant interruption. Of course, when I have kids, I’m sure they’ll be perfect and so will I… :-p

  5. Shawna Kirby says:

    Was that Growing Kids God’s Way? My husband and I studied that method too, and a lot of it has been useful. Great blog!

  6. Jason says:

    Nice post! (I’m so glad for His patience!)

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