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‘You can really talk!’

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

June 8, 2022

“You can really talk!”

An acquaintance told me that at the conclusion of a parish council meeting several months ago. That meeting included our council’s participation in the “Synod on Synodality.” I had given a short presentation explaining the synod at the start of the session.

“Thank you,” I responded. “I really don’t mind public speaking. I’m pretty used to it.”

“I don’t mind public speaking, but it’s different when you’re speaking publicly about faith,” the acquaintance said. “I’m not sure I could talk like that about listening to the Holy Spirit.”

I knew exactly what she meant.

I thought of that conversation this week when the very first column I wrote for this space appeared in the “Memories” feature of a popular social media platform. That first column was written four years ago this week. When I first started this job, the mere idea of writing this column terrified me. I was nervous about writing in the first person, something my career in journalism and corporate communications very rarely included. I was scared to share anything related to my faith.

“I don’t have the language for this,” I thought.

I was right to some extent. I didn’t have the language.

If you’ve ever attempted to learn a foreign language, you know it takes a lot of practice to get to a point where you’re comfortable using the language in conversation. For me, it was the same with talking about my relationship with the Lord. In addition to learning to rely on the Holy Spirit to give me the right words for each situation or moment, I needed to get comfortable saying or writing those words. I needed to practice.

I’m still practicing.

I minored in French in college. By my junior year, I could write essays and read short stories in French with little difficulty. I could think in French. Now, almost 20 years later, I struggle to read or write even entry-level French. Why? I have a saying related to a learned language: “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”

I don’t want to lose this. God gifted me this opportunity to grow in my ability to express my love for Him. He gives us all those opportunities. It might come in a small-group study at our parish. It might come in a conversation with a friend or family member.

When we share our love of Christ with others, it’s always real talk. And we can all do it.

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