So you can see what's going on

When Marvin Gaye came to the studio to record "What's Goin' On", the title track to the greatest Motown album of all time, his band members had already arrived. They were relaxing, playing football, goofing off. He decided to record the voices and ambient background noise without their knowledge. When he finished, he told them what he had done. "We're just goofin' off" they said. "Well, you goof magnificently", he replied. The band's banter and hijinks are what you hear at the beginning and end of the song. Magnificent.

People are interesting. Beyond a certain point in our life, we begin to think that we know it all. Okay, maybe we're wise enough to admit that we don't know "it all", yet we still act and relate towards other people that way. We've been around and seen some things. Maybe we had a gut feeling that paid off and we began to listen to that and, more often than not, we follow that gut feeling when we encounter strangers. As children, we were taught not to talk to strangers. For good and obvious reasons. And as "the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9), it's probably best if I leave someone alone were I only interacting along those lines. Truth be told, I can't discern, in and of myself, just what it is that someone needs. I'm not that smart. But this doesn't mean that I ignore everyone and deal with them based on surface perception. How many people would hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ if this were our main maxim: "only deal with the approachable, the type-A personalities, the gadflies, etc." stay open to the Holy Spirit. He'll keep you from interacting with someone who could be detrimental (either physically or spiritually).

Referring again to Marvin's seminal Motown song, the only way we'll know "what's goin' on" is to talk to Jesus. That's part of the chorus of the song. "Talk to me, so you can see, what's goin' on". Granted, he may not have been referring to the Lord. Forgive my interpretive license.

Maybe someone seems catatonically shy. Maybe you perceive someone is lonely. Maybe someone's boisterousness and braggadocio is hiding a painful need. I'm telling you right now that the only way we'll know "what's goin' on", who's genuine, who's not, is to talk to Jesus. Or the Holy Spirit, or even God the Father. Keep the conversation going throughout your day.

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