I have a high-trust, deep knowledge friendship that has developed over a decade. I realized as we shared an evening conversation with mutual friends how much of our conversation has moved into code. A look, gesture, or a particular phrase said in specific way speaks volumes. Much of the time, our code conversation is offered as a guide to the other. Our unique perspectives help us see more together than apart. Our trust allows us to guide without presuming that the other must take the advance and put it into action as is.
It has not always been this way. For the many years our differing views dominated our conversation. We are naturally curious. As we explored our differences we found hidden treasures that we shared in common. It was a process that took us to progressively greater levels of trust.
I woke this morning to an awareness of how rare it is for individuals to have this conversation. There are several natural barriers. Even when both speak the same language, it starts with an ability to ask with the intent of hearing the other’s words. It may not come easily, however it can be developed. A reminder has stayed with me; “If you give a blessing using your private prayer language, which no one else understands, how can some outsider who has just shown up and has no idea what’s going on know when to say ‘Amen’? Your blessing might be beautiful, but you have very effectively cut that person out of it.” (1 Corinthians 14.17)
The other factor rests in a willingness to hear, any and everything. Listening can be difficult. It can also be painful, confusing, and challenging. In the midst of the barriers, listening is a doorway to more – understanding, awareness, and trust.
With these two, we have walked together. It is the combination lived out that gifted us with experiential trust. With the combination, anything is possible. I want more of this. I know God is inviting you and me into this type of relationship. It is possible with time together.