My phone rang early this morning, 7am. As a pastor, late night and early morning phone calls spell trouble, either a health emergency for a parishioner or a big problem that needs to be fixed NOW! Now that I am no longer a pastor in the local church, early and late phone calls mean something else…. my daughter Belinda has a celebration or a concern.
She calls when she is low. She calls when she is up in the clouds. She calls when she is overwhelmed. She calls when she is excited. She calls when she is mad as hell and can’t take it anymore. She calls when life is coming up roses. The one thing in our relationship that means more than anything to me is that she calls.
I talk with other parents of adult children. Daughters call their fathers or mothers more than sons will call. Maybe it is that macho/self sufficient/island unto oneself thing that men seem to keep going generation after generation. Whatever the reason, I find myself pulling feelings out of my son. Not Belinda. Her feelings spill out from her heart to my ears. She trusts me. Thank you God.
Sometime ago my father said to me “I would have given anything if I could have talked with my father like I am able to talk with you.” Feeling connected, trusting in relationships, listening to the feelings of others, are what will transform the world. Practice with your daughter, your father, maybe even your son. Practice the deep connections and build relationships through listening. This is the way we build better families, better churches, and better worlds.