Written by Carl Greene

April 26, 2023

Do you ever feel overlooked in a conversation? You have something to say, but no one in the group takes a breath long enough for you to contribute.  You have a thought to share in a Bible Study, but the discussion moves on before you can verbalize your thought. Overlooked.

Sometimes the loneliest place to be is in a group of talkative people. Where we feel overlooked.

We know the sting of being overlooked—whether it is in a group of strangers or a regular gathering of close friends. My repeated experience is to have an increasing pulse rate as an idea takes shape, increased eye contact with members of the group as I try to enter the conversation, and maybe even a slight clearing of my throat and the vocalization of a single syllable.

Until I get overlooked and covered by the conversation of others.

While most of us have the experience of being overlooked, all of us have the experience of overlooking others. Unintentionally overlooking others, but guilty nonetheless. We need to intentionally go into conversations with a heightened sensitivity of others who are overlooked in the group. Rather than focusing only on what we have to share, we have an opportunity to notice others and invite them into conversation.

I hope that you join me in praying for a greater sensitivity to noticing people in conversation. That the Holy Spirit will heighten our awareness of opportunities to listen. To see. To feel when we should ask for someone’s thoughts rather than sharing our own.

Creating authentic community in our churches and small groups is not just about appealing content and good coffee. We need to notice people. And invite conversation to listen to. Noticing is all the more likely when we live a rest-filled rather than a restless life. I look forward to listening with you.

Thank you Seth Greene for the photo and meme.

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