Happy June! Hope you are finding time to curl up with a book and relax. (Check out a suggestion and book giveaway at the end of this newsletter.) We continue to have more rain than normal here, which does always make me think about reading.
I discovered a book recently: Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People by Joe Navarro with Marvin Karlins, Ph.D. https://www.amazon.com/What-Every-Body-Saying-Speed-Reading/dp/0061438294 Mr. Navarro worked as a special agent for the counterintelligence division of the FBI and much of what he writes about involves investigating suspects and trying to determine if they are telling the truth.
He seems to pay particular attention to feet: “If you want to decode the world around you and interpret behavior accurately, watch the feet and the legs; they are truly remarkable and honest in the information they convey.”
He explains that a person who stands in an L-position, with one foot pointed toward you and one pointed away from you might stay and chat for a few minutes but clearly also wants to move on.
A person who spreads her feet, planting them firmly, likely wants to establish authority, claim territory. (And, yes, this was a posed picture, with thanks to my husband and one of my nieces.)
I’m guessing you need no explanation of feet pointed directly at you. (And yes, Ringo’s turned head indicates he was not giving his full attention to my niece!)
Interesting, right? And useful as we relate to people.
The other day at work I went out to the lobby to talk with a patient and happened to take notice of my feet. One pointed directly at the patient; the other pointed back at my desk. My feet revealed what I felt. I wanted to chat with this patient, and yet I also knew that I had to get back to my desk and the work there.
I want to continue to watch my feet this summer. What do they tell me about how I connect with people? Am I taking the time to truly see and hear the people around me? I want this to be a summer of pointing both my feet toward people—a summer of saying, “I see you. I want to learn more about you.”
Building relationships takes much effort and thought, doesn’t it? And, of course, it doesn’t all come down to feet.
Lately I’ve noticed how prayer helps me connect with people. As I slow down to pray for other people, I think more about them. What struggles do they face? What joys have they recently experienced? How can I act as Jesus’ hands and feet to encourage them? So often my prayers for others lead to a quick text. Or an email. Or a phone call. Or a date for a cup of tea.
How like our wise God to call us to something–prayer–that gives us courage and comfort but also pulls us to connect with others.
Feet and prayer–two remarkable friendship-building tools.
I would count it a privilege to pray for you this summer. You can leave me a comment here on the blog and then we can chat more via email. And I would be grateful if you would pray with me about a second book (on building friendships). I have a finished proposal and three sample chapters and need wisdom to sort out next steps.
Cheering you on this summer as you seek to connect with others. May God give us strength and courage to keep our feet and our prayers pointed toward others even when that connection poses challenges.
A Giveaway and a Request
Looking for a summer read? I have a copy of a book I’d love to pass on to one of you: The Wonder Years: 40 Women over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength.http://ow.ly/bIOt30kFSLT Leslie Leyland Fields edited this essay collection by women, including Kay Warren, Elisa Morgan, Shannon Etheridge, Madeleine L’Engle, and Luci Shaw.
In exchange for a freebie book, I’d love to get one of your favorite recipes and permission to feature it on this blog and on my Pinterest account next month. https://www.pinterest.com/aftonrorvik/
If I hear from more than one of you, I will find another book to send you. My office shelves overflow!