“We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.”

John Dewey

How would it change our relationships with our spouses or our children if we were able to ask the questions that would help another reflect on their experiences? How would it change my experiences in life, if I were able to ask those questions to myself, at times?

These questions are questions of love. We ask them, not to try and plant an idea in someone’s mind or to pry or gather information, but we ask purely because of love.

“One way to know you’ve truly grown in the art of asking questions in relationships is when you don’t have to actually know the answer, because the answer isn’t for you as the asker, it’s for the person to whom you’re asking the question.”

I am wondering when I have truly asked someone a question of love. I am wondering the last time I have answered someone’s question of love. My mom posed the question on social media just last week: What is something pleasurable or meaningful that came about in 2020? I think that was an example of a question of love. And I have been thinking about it this past week. I am grateful for the chance to think about the things I have loved about this past year.

Emily gives us a few more to think about, just in case no one is asking:

Question #1. In the past 30 days, what was your most life-giving yes? This may not be the “yes” that yielded the best results. But what is something you said yes to that felt like life? Name it.

Question #2. In the past 30 days, what was your most life-giving no? It may not have been a “no” that was easy to make, and you may have had to struggle to get the word out. But you said no. And it opened the way for you. What was that life-giving no?

Question #3. Name something you’re reconsidering. As a result of the last 30 days, maybe you’ve reconsidered a long held belief, a biased worldview, an unhealthy relationship, or the way you’ve allowed grief, anger, or fear to build up in your body. You may not have answers or resolutions, but reconsideration done in the presence of God is an important part of our becoming.

Question #4. What was the funniest thing that happened last month? Don’t skip this one. Think about it fully. Review your days without hurry and consider a time when you were caught off guard, where the heaviness was replaced with levity, where the spark of joy met you in the moment and sent your head back with laughter.

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