Last night I needed to talk. This was more than something that my head needed. Given the events of the day, past week, and month, I longed to sit and share with a friend. Fortunately I am staying with a friend. Time and location were both on our side.
As we shared life over a meal and then over a fire late into the evening, I was struck by the natural flow of the conversation. The conversation did not seem to have boundaries. Difficult subjects were discussed with candor and accountability. Weaknesses were exposed and shared in trust. I found myself listening in ways that opened my heart and mind to more. At times, it was not easy. I listened and reflected more than I spoke. I found myself in places I realized I needed to be although I do not think I would have ever chosen to go.
As I look back I realize that there were a several key factors that helped the evening play out the way it did.
Conversations that begin in trust with shared values and experiences have a possibility of being tangibly real. David describes it this way; “God-friendship is for God-worshipers; they are the ones he confides in.” (Psalm 25.14) It takes all elements plus the mystery of love and compassion.
Conundrums and problems do not always have obvious solutions. At times, one needs to see them more clearly. Others can help. There are moments, where a discussion is the right step in the context of uncertainty. Dialogue can make a difference even as the next remains unknown.
Having help with a problem makes it easier. Asking for help is not always easy, especially for men. Facing the situation with candor and openness can be very difficult, yet in the presence of a trusted friend, it gets easier. Two tackling an issue, especially when the Presence is with them, is an opportunity for Hope to change everything.
Challenges remain without solutions. I can see a next step or two. I can feel hope. I am stronger because of others.