Anyone can say words. However, wisdom can turn words into connections. Without connection, it’s impossible to communicate on a heart-to-heart level. Wisdom connects words to the heart.
Wyndham, for as long as I have known him, has been a great connector. As he connects deeply with individuals, he also helps them connect with each other. Connectors do this. Their connections are contagious. If connection is only with us, we build dependence instead of family. For years I have studied Wyndham’s ability to connect and have sought to emulate this gift as much as possible.
Ironically, Wyndham’s body has a major connection problem. Though his mind is excellent, and his body should be physically able to function, it doesn’t. There’s a disconnect. It is as if a drawbridge has gone up between his head (or mind) and body. It doesn’t connect well anymore. Our nervous system normally does this connecting automatically…but unfortunately this connection is now missing for him.
Too often, the metaphorical drawbridge goes up when people try to connect. Words are spoken but they don’t bring about closeness or desired unity. They simply give information.
I’ve noticed several aspects of connection as I’ve “studied” Wyndham’s ability to connect. This connection comes not just from words said, but also from the emotional atmosphere and feelings that surround the words. These bring down the drawbridge so that connections are made. The following are attitudes I have watched Wyndham exude which elicit true connection.
You are important to me. I care about you and I value you. This attitude is a bridge between spoken words. The drawbridge is down when we know people care as they speak to us. Even now, though Wyndham can barely talk, he will ask, “Did you give them my love?” or, “How did her meeting go?” or, “Did Caleb catch a fish today?” Because he cares.
I want to hear what you have to say. We all want to be heard and understood. We communicate this when we truly do want to hear what others say. This invites connection.
I will be vulnerable. People connect to our weaknesses. It’s often humbling to share them, but we can likely think of people we have easily connected with because of their vulnerability. Sometimes (often) these posts feel vulnerable. I always read them to Wyndham and ask if it’s okay to share. He always tells me that he knows that connection is in the vulnerability.
I want to have eye-to-eye contact with you. Often a look from Jesus elicited connection and emotion. Truly the eye is the lamp of the body, as Jesus stated (Matthew 6:22). There’s just something about eye-to eye-connection that helps beget heart-to-heart connection.
I want to hug you. Have you ever been speaking to someone and their kindness and connectivity just makes you want to get up and hug them? Wyndham knows the importance of affection. We all need hugs. More than we think. Lots of them. It’s hard to hug someone and stay disconnected.
I will be honest with you. And, I want you to be honest with me. There’s nothing like the truth that brings the freedom allowing connection. As Proverbs 24:26 (NLT) states, “An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship.”
I want to leave you encouraged, and with hope. No matter how difficult a situation or conversation, we connect to those who are able to offer hope (which is always found in Christ). I have noted that Wyndham gives hope even (and especially) in difficult situations and conversations.
I want to be approachable. I’m always inspired by the way Jesus easily connected with children and the poor. He was a the greatest leader ever, but easily approached by what some considered “the little (or less important) people.” It takes extra effort to ensure we are easily approached. How can we ever connect with someone we can’t easily approach.
I’m so grateful Almighty God encourages us to approach him (Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 4:16).
May we all grow in wisdom to connect as we speak and engage with others.