Some conversations are difficult. Even after you clear the decks, wipe every possible distraction, trivial, or confusing tidbit, and stay strictly on the point, it doesn’t get any easier. Clearing the debris away is a critical step in starting the conversation. However, once you are at the beginning it is the courage expressed by both parties to stay involved and engaged as the two try moving forward that measures the potential of what happens next. Today most run from anything resembling this type of encounter. I find that it is exactly in this encounter where one finds honesty and the potential for growth.
Carli and I usually agree. Occasionally we don’t and the process that follows is difficult and challenging. I strongly dislike our inability to understand each other and resolve the difference. To Carli’s credit she hates it! It isn’t just the gap; she hates the starting point, the steps that follow, and every nuance along the way. Yet she stays involved. She cares enough to pursue a goal that is painful, difficult, and optional except for the love we share. So far we haven’t found the right words but there is hope!
Jesus faced a conundrum. One side was accusing another. Both parties were equally guilty. Neither believed or was looking for a peaceful resolution. One wanted revenge for their embarrassment and justice for their fears while the other sought mercy and hiding. Both thirsted for a place of peace.
Jesus’ took a step of staying involved even when it was going to be difficult. Inviting others to do the same, he filtered their interest by taking away their leverage over each other. Who would have the courage to remain? Who would take the risk of being engaged, even when it hurt? Was there anyone to set the pattern others could follow?
Just one. “Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone.” (John 8.9)
There is much to learn. God is reaching out, talking, and teaching. Take courage, stay engaged like Carli; everything is possible.
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