Face to Face in an Ink-Infested World:

"Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full." John, 2 John 12.

True Story:

Last year, I did not own a car. I was on the train heading back home from a busy day in town. I was doing the usual, watching people carefully (I do this all the time, I try to guess what the stories are behind the people). Everyone definitely has a story, so when I get on the train I become a "people-watcher." I steal short glances around quietly, so as to try not to be rude. I match-make the couples sitting next to each other, and if there are kids seated behind them, I assume those are their kids. If there's a man sitting beside them, I assume he's their uncle, if there's a woman with a baby I assume she is a single mum, and so on and so forth. It becomes like a game.

On this particular day I had to transfer from the train to a bus to take me home. I ran straight to my bus, paid my fare and sat down. I started watching people again. Several more people got on the bus, but the one guy I noticed was a thin Indian-looking bald-headed elderly guy. He was the last person to get on. He scrambled in his pocket for the money, but did not find sufficient change. He started to explain to the bus driver that he didn't have enough, but the driver wouldn't hear of it. So I got up, went to the front of the bus, and paid the remaining fare. The guy smiled at me and said "thank you so much."
I thought it was over until I went back to my seat. But there was this other woman who had been watching the scene play out too.

"That man will never forget what you did for the rest of his life," she whispered in my ears.

I just smiled and continued looking out the window. But she wanted to talk, so I obliged.

"I write poetry," she said.

"You do? That's really nice."

"Take a look at this manuscript. I'm trying to get a publisher for my poems."

"That's great. I write too, but not poetry," I responded.

"Look at this poem, in fact read it. It's about my daughter."

I read the poem and it was a really moving one. Before I got off the bus I gave her my phone number in case she needed to talk to someone. Trust me, she DID call. She made use of it. We talked a couple of times after that, but there was this day when she called me saying, "I really want to talk to you about something. Can we meet somewhere?" I thought about all the dangers of meeting strangers, so I picked a public place where there'd be a lot of other people--I chose Starbucks. We ended up not meeting anyway, but when I read that scripture this morning I remembered that woman who wanted to meet me so badly.

* * *

There's something about a face-to-face meeting in an ink-infested world. As much as technology has risen up today, with all the social media in the limelight, when I read John's statement today I realized that one cannot say everything with ink and paper (or by typing on a blog).

Now, taking this thought even further and explaining it in terms of our relationship with God, we cannot have a non-personal encounter with Him. It cannot be through hear-say or by reading about Him. It has to be through a face-to-face experience with Him.

You can spend a lot of time reading blogs, or even reading the bible. But there has to come a time when you pause for a moment and witness God for yourself. Through a face-to-face interaction you will begin to write pages about Him for yourself. You will begin to have your own personal stories, without the aid of anyone else.

There's nothing like a face-to-face experience in an ink-infested world, with God...and also with other people.

Are you more of a face-to-face person, or would you rather depend on indirect means of communication? How would you relate this to your relationship with God? Tell me about it. Post your thoughts.

P.S: Hey guys, watch out for My "Guest Blogger Friday Post" coming up this Friday. The guest blogger is an author whose book is to be released on March 1st, literally next week. Stay cool!

Photo by Google


Owumi said...

Yay, first!

I loved this entry.

It was a double, no triple wonderful thing you did. Helping the guy with his fare, talking to a random woman on a bus ad reading her poetry (the mean part of me might have thought, oh no being subjected to bad poetry!), exchanging numbers with her, and meeting up with her in person to talk.

So often in our lives we are mental Christians, but then we forget that we're supposed to live it out loud, show the love in actions. You've inspired me to live like that Samaritan that stopped again, and not be selfish, or get bounded by fear of what could go wrong or of being swindled or hurt.

And of course, there's the whole face-to-face experience that your post actually led up to. Can I be quadruplly blessed this morning? Thanks for being an amazing vessel!

DayDreamer said...

Love this! I am very much so a face to face kind of person. When you talk face to face with someone, you can observe their non-verbal reactions and that makes the conversation even richer. When we seek God's face it definitely makes our experience of Him richer. Our relationship with Him takes on more depth. And surely our joy is fuller. I need to start sowing more TIME in His presence.

Anonymous said...

That guy will never forget you..Ever

Jennifer A. said...

@ Owumi...me too, I'm aspiring to be like that Samaritan man...although it would actually mean that we're totally insane or strange people in this world, with all the weird stories we hear every day. But I feel that a face-to-face experience is definitely very meaningful, and even memorable. Thankssssssss...

@ HomieGFunk...a "richer experience," the word "richer" is making me think about how I won't like my hot chocolate without a lot of "rich" powdered peak milk. There's nothing like a richer "more personal/intimate" relationship---it's like two lovers, no one else can express their love for each other but them alone.

@ Pink Satin...well, thank God I did it then. :)

Kafo said...

i love this entry.

i have a hard time with one on one with people that i have know for a considerable amount of time.

for a passerby it isn't an issue but there are just some face-to-face convo. that are too much for mii.

random acts of kindness to people i will never see again isn't a problem but it is the constant face to face open heart surgery with people that drives mii insane.

when it comes to God,
i'm selfish, i want Him all to myself and wish i could have more face to face time with Him

i really like this post

Kafo said...

oh i love the playlist oooooooooo
but it doesn't play for mii :(

sonicflood and i go way back, i remember when that song dropped in 00/01 wow how time flies

Jennifer A. said...

@ Kafo, I don't know how to tell you this, but we're very much alike. I too am usually not keen with spending too much one-on-one quality time with people I've known for a long time...there are about maybe only four people that I talk to on a constant basis, not that I'm no longer close to the rest...but it doesn't matter, I just don't feel the need to address personal stuff with them.

But to strangers...of course that could be easy, right? Not all the time...but yes, it's easier when someone doesn't know jack about you.

Should life be this way? I think NOT. We're supposed to strive to be better...so it's something to be worked on. If we don't know how to have one-on-one's, how do we change the lives of our friends? It's worth much more to affect people in a personal way than it is from a distance.

But sometimes, I don't have that personal time.

The playlist is not working for you? Why na? I can listen to it without any probs. Maybe you should check again later. I've had that song at the edge of my lips all morning, so I decided to post it.


Straight from the heart said...

Love this story.

I am employ all fors of way to take to the father. it depends on how I am feeling.
some times I want to read blogs, books, magazines and gain insight into peoples thought based on the word. Other times I want to read the bible and know the father's heart, this is one of my favorite.
But nothing beats face-to-face with the father. I do this every day some times I am still, other times I ramble on, and other times I worship. face to face is an experience which always leaves e yeaning for more of him

Mwajim Al said...

Your story was a nice entry into your message for today. Enjoyed it! My face to face is through many routes: prayers, reading His word... my favorite is when i write to Him. I recently started journaling my heart out to Him and as always I am flying on wings afterwards.

Jennifer A. said...

@ Debbie...I agree, there are so many ways to get intimate with God...and it's exciting that we can read and hear what people have to say. A personal interaction, say in worship for instance, is irreplaceable.

@ Mwajim...you write letters to God? I love that...that's something I'd like to try. I write in my journal, but only when I'm trying to explain something profound I read. Hmmm...thanks for sharing that.

Blessing said...

Wow! Amazing post...lovely story!

I used to prefer to relate with other in an indirect matter, but i've learned over time that words can be misunderstood and assumptions can be made.

Therefore, I prefer face to face communication today...even though it's a lil difficult for me..when it comes to God, it's overwhelming feeling to fellowship with him on a personal level...hearing and reading about him is good...but it gets deeper when you connect with him personally...it's a life changing experience!

Jennifer A. said...

@BlowingBlessings...you are SO right. People have a lot of misunderstandings by emails and online platforms, but when two people talk face-to-face it's easier to sort things out that way. I agree. So you're more of a face-to-face person? That's so cool...I'm still working on my face-to-face connections. *Hugs*

Lolia said...

Awww I'm glad you liked my post dear.

Meanwhile I think what you did for that man was really sweet. I feel like a little piece of me dies when I see things like that happen. It may just be a little change.. a quarter or a dime to you.. but someone else might just not have that.

Oh and as for face to face relationships with God. I think you're right. You can read the Bible from now until eternity and go to church and Bible study and whatever else but if you don't have that personal experience with God, that moment when you feel connected with Him, then it's hard to keep believing or your faith gets tested a lot more. That's what I feel at least..


Vera Ezimora said...


You're right as always. The world may have gone web 2.0 ish, but God hasn't. Experiencing God for yourself is a beautiful thing. Do you ever pray and call Him, "God of Jaycee?" I always call Him, "God of Vera Ezimora. Sure, He's the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but He's also my God. I, too, have stories of deliveries. I, too, know of times He has delivered, sustained, protected, and defended me. He's my God, darn it! lol

~Mimi~ said...

Loved this post!!!

Haven't commented in a long while :)

jhazmyn said...

This reminds me of a book i read years ago that spoke about the same thing...choosing to know God and experience Him for ourselves rather than knowing God thru the experience of a pastor or books we read...e.t.c.

It was a choice worth making i tell you

Jennifer A. said...

@ Lolia, it's amazing the things we take for granted, right? Like a "Quarter" coin.

@ Vera, you know what...I'm going to start praying more like that. Because I HAVE MY OWN STORIES to tell too. Yes, He's my God...I will not just limit Him to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I've heard that many times but I don't confess it when I'm praying. Thank you so much for sharing...

@ Mimi...*Hugs*

@ Jhazmyn...I totally agree about the worthiness of that choice. There's no other way to fully experience God. Yes, we must grasp what our pastors tell us, yes, we MUST educate ourselves...that's why Paul went into the marketplace to tell the people of the "unknown God." But the reason Paul and some of our pastors are able to preach like that is because THEY had a PERSONAL ENCOUNTER. You cannot speak of that which you haven't experienced.

LucidLilith said...

This post is very inspiring. I am not the type to read religious posts but I am inspired by people who practice their religion rather than talk about it.

Rainyjoy said...

wow, this got me thinking for real... and yes i do enjoy having a face to face encounter with God, the way He works things out for me and creates opportunities for me to experience who He is and what He is able to do for me. sometimes i get bored telling people about what God did in the bible, instead i tell testimonies of what He has done for me, how i have witnessed His mercy and saving grace everyday of my life. and also i believe our level of trust increases and our love for God deepens when we do meet with Him face to face .
jaycee thanks for putting up this post, blessed me loads.
lots of love

Jennifer A. said...

@ Lucidlilith...the reason you may not be a fan of Religious posts is that there's too much TALK and no ACTION. I really like that...an unbalanced scale will never yield good results. It needs to be the other way around.

@RainyJoy...talking about your testimonies is actually more convincing than mere bible stories. Yes, those bible stories happened...but if the testimony is standing right in front of me, ALL THE BETTER. Gosh, your comment just empowered my testimonies. Thanks so much.

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

I absolutely LOVED this post. Infact come to think of it, I love relating to total strangers, that way because they have no preconceived idea of what they think I am, it is easier to be myself. That's weird right. But I feel totally at ease with them. But the longer you know them, it is then up to them to want to retain the friendship or not. It's funny, but I have to move back to the UK in the middle of year, to a city I left exactly eight years ago, to a people I once knew in my teens. They will not be strangers to me, but the thoughts of meeting again people I've known for a long time sort of makes me a tad uncomfortable. As if for too long I have been running away from people, isolated for too longer, but now I have to go back to the crowd. Back to the mix, back to where I once used to tred... Back to civilization..yikess... Why can't these hills and mountains hide me fro much longer,.. no more tranquility, the noise of poeple moving about compared to the noise of a rushing wind. Dear god, why why why!!!...

Ok, enough of the melodrama, my 1260 days in isolation are over, I am on the move :)... bitting my nails :).

But one thing I have been so grateful to God for in these 1260plus days, is my many experiences with and of Him. I no longer need to be told about His goodness and greatness for indeed I lifeofstranger can testify without a shadow of a doubt that God is GOD. Period.

Jennifer A. said...

@Lifeofastranger...oh my goodness, I love your testimony In the moments where you were isolated, you no longer needed anyone to show you who God was, but you experienced it for yourself.

I believe God allowed to go to the mountains for a purpose. Now that those days are over, I can't wait for more mind-blowing testimonies. I'm excited today, thank YOU darling...lol.

Patrinas Pencil said...

Looks like you lost your comments here too. I missed this post for some reason. I used to be a hidden soul - you know, on who served in the background. Didn't like the limelight. Felt I had nothing to give, you know. I think that I've shared befofre that I was a 'wall flower'. I let others do the talking. Didnt' even have opinions! :)

But God has changed me and I love people - face to face -!! that would be my choice! Writing just doesn'ty meet my need to communicate any more. It takes too much effort. I have so much to share and I crave that 2-way communication that writing doesn't offer. Blogging doesn't even offer it really. You are so kind to allow me to chime in and interact with your readers when I feel the need - which is terrific for me - I'm getting to know you better that way too. But most bloggers don't even respond to their readers. I guess that I'm looking for face to face discussion.

There are different levels of 'knowing'. One can know me through my writing but face to face - I'm more fun! :) Writing shows my more serious - pondering processing side. Face to face shows my JOy - my excitement - my love of people. However, I have noticed, as I age - my writing is somewhat kinder than my spoken words - sometimes. :) Writng alows for thinking before I speak. Even then, I mess up sometimes !

You think that my comments here are long. I can talk a long spell about something that really interests me or excites me. Otherwise, I'm a good listener.

If I had a choice, I'd pick face to face!

As for God and my relationship with HIm.. FGace to face - always!! I can't breathe without being aware of His presence in my life. I trust HIm! I long to sit and have coffe with HIm and talk for hours. I do, actually! :)

But my journaling is like me talking to God, and that too is very fulfilling because He writes through me and it becomes something more than me. That is like meeting HIm face to face. I am uninhibited when I write to Him. So it exposes more of me than I would otherwise outwardly share - with opthers. I feel safe in my face to face interation with the Lord.

And just for the record, you, Jaycee, have made me feel safe responding on your blog - thank you for that! You open me up in ways I've never opened before in public - like here in Blogvilla.

Thanks for asking Patrina <")>><
His watchman onthe wall

Jennifer A. said...

@ Patrina...I feel like there are different phases in our lives. Sometimes indirect conversations help, and then other times face-to-face conversations are even better. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in again...ordering our steps to see what works better each time.

As for being a part of my blogsville family, I know that nothing is a coincidence with God. You've taught me so much and given me unforgettable testimonies, and you've blessed so many readers who have seen your comments...it is NOT a coincidence at all. I pray your light keeps shining, and yes...that thing that you're waiting on God for...the reason why your heart beats every morning, may it not tarry in Jesus Name, Amen.

Lots of love P!!!

ps: yup, I lost my comments on this post too. LOL.