Fireside Chats

2:40 AM

I don't even know where the phrase came from. The Original Virginia Friend started it (I think), but I don't remember if a specific incident that brought it about or it just evolved over time.

What is a fireside chat? You might be thinking, "What a curious term." A fireside chat is a time set aside for nothing more than talking with a friend or friends. "Do you have time for a fireside chat?" means, do you have anything to distract you from talking over something or a few things? The important part is "do you have time." Time is precious. Now, more than ever, people want to multi-task at every moment. Multi-tasking is great and I'm great at it.... until it involves conversations with friends. Then multi-tasking means I am only partially involved, only half-listening and most definitely not giving my friend the benefit of my full attention.

A fireside chat can happen anywhere... and contrary to the name, there doesn't even need to be a fire nearby! Methinks the fire reference denotes a certain ambiance of closeness and dare I say intimacy (in a purely familial sense, i.e. not romantic!)? A fireside chat can happen over the phone, or on instant messanger, but the most precious is definitely face-to-face. The expressions and communication that happens when people are present together in one place is irreplaceable. A fireside chat can happen at a restaurant, a quiet tea room, a back porch---I've even had one while sitting in chairs in the middle of a busy mall! Fireside chats that actually occur by a fire are pretty special, though!

A fireside chat always seems to have an element of seriousness in it. There's probably some smiling going on, if for no other reason than to lighten the mood when the hard topics come up. The actual topic is not the point---mostly how these things affect you. The words are honest, transparent, sometimes difficult to speak. The motive is always love. Love for Christ and love for the brethren.

Why do I love fireside chats? Because I've realized that I can spend an entire day with someone and not truly communicate with them. I count Godly friendships as something to be honored and revered. Whether I see my friends seldom or often, whether they live near or far, it always seems that when believers come together... iron sharpens iron. Sparks may fly for a while, but we all come out changed-encouraged, helped, challenged, transformed more into the image of Christ.

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