Ask the questions. The only way to get to know someone is to ask questions.
Recently I had an amazing opportunity to have lunch with two ladies (who happen to be homeless).
Over the course of a year and a bit, we’ve seen them. Said hi to them. Blessed them with warm drinks and gift cards. Then one day, after not seeing them for a while I saw them.
I. Was. Stoooopid. Excited.
We chatted and exchanged info, including names. I now knew their names!
Talking to my mentor about my reunion with them she said ‘Tricia just get to know them right? When you interact with them…ask questions about them. Probably no one ever does that.’
Shortly after, I met the ladies for lunch. I got to the restaurant before them and was seated close to a window. Through that window I saw when they arrived. I saw one of them taking the time to fix her hair and tidy herself as she was walking to the restaurant.
They came in. I hugged them. And then I set out to get to know them. As questions were asked and answers were given, I discovered they were fascinating ladies. They had a story. The chapters before this one were exciting and lovely and very, very different from this present one.
I don’t know how many people (likely besides agencies and aid organizations), have the opportunity to get to know them.
As they spoke about their past…their eyes lit up with the memories of ‘normalcy’. In those couple hours I spent sharing a meal with them…I hope they felt seen and loved and reminded of the beautiful life they once had. And maybe, just maybe, a fire was sparked about what could be.
Ask the questions…people love talking about themselves.