The Power of Casual Conversation

During my fall break, I spent 5 days with my group at the Siena/Francis House down the street from Creighton University.

The first afternoon, my group and I were assigned different tasks to help out with around the shelter. I was placed in the kitchen and helped prepare the dining room for the dinner meal. Placing sugar packets and setting six places at the tables could become monotonous, but luckily I was able to share the experience with some of the men who are in the recovery program.

Jenny and the rest of the Siena/Francis Group

After exhausting many weather-related topics, I slowly became more comfortable with the guys I was working with and before I knew it, we were joking about many topics. Somehow, it was mentioned that the individual I was working with was a professional bass guitarist.

So naturally, I followed up with “Wait, really!?”.

Turned out “professional” was a slight exaggeration, but he had played in many clubs around the area. This conversation that I had with him was one of the most genuine conversations I had during my experience.

No, this wasn’t a heart-wrenching explanation of addiction and recovery.

No, this wasn’t a detailed account of a man’s journey to the Siena/Francis House.

Conversation is worthwhile whether you are sharing an intimate story or an everyday discussion about the beautiful colors of fall. From this man, I found out what his passion is, where he finds life. To me, this is one of the most defining characteristics of a person, not necessarily what has brought them to this moment in time.

Fr. Arrupe has a quote attributed to him about finding something to fall in love with:

What you are in love with…will decide everything.

I don’t think I would have found out how much this man loves music had it not been for the entire afternoon that allowed for us to develop a relationship.

Be open to developing those relationships, whether it takes an entire afternoon or an entire year and maybe these relationships will allow for you to discover the passions in other people’s lives.

Jenny Lambrecht
2013 Graduate
Host Site: Siena/Francis, Omaha NE


The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.