I recently met someone I hope becomes a friend. I intuitively knew that I had this hope early in our first conversation. The feeling baffled me given its time and place. We had just met. Other than the purpose of the meeting, there was nothing that I knew linked us together. Yet there was a sense of usefulness and purpose that filled my mind and heart.
As I reflect, I can see a few elements that nurtured my intuitive response. He was credible. His conversation, both in the stories, perspectives, and questions came with a freshening sense of honesty. Even in the moment, I could feel the sincerity behind them.
He listened with the intent of understanding. He had a style of listening that was patient. As I think and visualize it in my mind, I find myself wanting to use the word graceful to describe what I experienced. It was not passive. For him listening was an intentional form of expression that created a foundation of trust.
He was curious. His curiosity was professional and respectful. It created an atmosphere of possibilities. The more we talked, exchanging ideas, the more I found myself with a clear head, excited about the possibilities.
I believe our bodies know truth. We may deny the truth, but it remains. At times we may not see the truth, yet it exists. Our heart knows. Even if conflicts, where we feel we need to choose, we can see.
I recall some conversations where I have left feeling sick. It was as if the person I was talking with had falling into the trap Paul spoke about; “we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection [truth in our conversation].” (1 Corinthians 15.15)
This conversation was wonderfully intoxicating. I have reasons to believe. It was a model that I hope I can repeat with others. I know I will need the Spirit. I also know it is possible.