As I walked up to the crowded table, I realized that I already knew half of the group. They all shared an expertise in human resource management. As one pulled another chair around the crowded table, I realized I was the odd one. It was an unusual mix; I knew it was a good time to listen.
The conversation ebbed and flowed. It was fun to hear about the events of the week from a different perspective. As I began to follow the conversation, I realized that I could contribute. I had not thought about the industry changes from this viewpoint. The words used were jargon free. The observations were candid and direct. I found the ideas to be logical, insightful, and thought provoking.
I wonder what it would be like if this conversation permeated churches and formal business conversations. For a change, an old observation might be realized. “If some unbelieving outsiders walk in on a service where people are speaking out God’s truth, the plain words will bring them up against the truth and probe their hearts. Before you know it, they’re going to be on their faces before God, recognizing that God is among you.” (1 Corinthians 14.25) What a refreshing change. Truth might have a change to do its work within our hearts without interference.
Without being critical of any organization, I am struck by how radical this would be. Words would be accessible. When one did not understand, s/he could ask without fear of a negative response. Ideas would be exchanged with a sense of hope.
I do not think that the world is going to change today. With the echo of the words that night still with me, I realize that I can make a difference. I can work to communicate differently. I can be open to candid feedback that calls for better ways of saying what I am trying to say. Change can start within and grow.
The possibilities fill me with hope. I doubt I will succeed on the first try. I do believe it is worth pursuing.