A recent team dinner was oversubscribed. As we walked into the restaurant, it was clear that seats were in short supply. The maître de worked out a solution with two tables. Although not ideal, at least everyone had a seat. With two of us in the role of visitors, I volunteered to join the “kids” table. I had no idea how quickly dinner morphed into an opportunity to share and learn.
I love talking to individuals who are still taking early steps in their careers. Most have little awareness of the way their combined attitudes and approaches to life creates a prophetic forecast of the world we live in. As our conversation unfolded, I found myself playing a role of a scene which echoed the script described by Peter centuries ago; “The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing.” (1 Peter 1.10)
The candor expressed around the table created lessons reminders of how much Divinity enjoys our honesty. Not every story was pretty. Some were hard to believe. There were admissions that could, in the wrong hands, be used against an individual. Over the evening, I knew I was in a safe space. With each gift of vulnerability and exposed expressions of the heart, the community trust chest grew. There was no hoarding or selfish intent; everything was open for all.
As the elder at the table, I found myself revisiting times and places in my life I have not recalled in a very long time. It was a fun journey, wondering aloud about the choices and decisions of others in my life, laughing at my own blunders and self-created misfortune.
As we parted late in the night, I realized we had shared steps on our journeys. I am hopeful we share more in the future. Until then, I find myself revisiting the laughter and curiosity, wonder and hope I rediscovered with the kids.
To each, thank-you for reminding me of how life gifts us with laughter, hope, and most of all, community.