The office was crowded. We knew it might get intense. As a courtesy to others around us, someone pulled the door shut. Within minutes, the glass walled office was beginning to feels stuffy! Poor air circulation, bodies ready for an intense debate (war?), and too many people combined to make the room uncomfortable for everyone.
The questions were simple. Did we agree on history? Did we understand our shared priorities? Had and were we clear?
I had no idea where the conversation would go. Given the characters in the room, myself at the top at that list, I knew some were passionate. I also knew that some could explode when the facts strayed too far from the truth. This could go anywhere.
The initial conversation was opened by an invitation that was direct and to the point. What are your reviews on how we go to this point?
I did not sense any anger in the invitation. The neutrality of how it was delivered opened an unexpected door. Would anyone take the first step?
The response paraphrased an old wisdom father. “My dear brothers and fathers, listen carefully to what I have to say before you jump to conclusions about me.”” (Acts 22.1)
As I listened, I found another telling my story! I had no idea that we saw so much alike. I did not anticipate that we would be this close to agreeing without my engagement.
The conversations that followed lowered the temperature in the room. Within a few minutes, the door was silently opened to allow fresh air in. We shared our perspectives. We explored our differences. We found ourselves aligned at the core.
It seems that the adversary was not in the room. We could push forward, trying to make a difference knowing that there were others with us. A simple request, acknowledging that each side suspected the other, opened us up to More. I was pulled into something greater. What was impossible now seemed within reach.
The story continues as the conversation grows. It is good to be in community.