There are friends I call when I am feeling down and I know, even before they answer, that I will feel better when we connect. Yesterday, I called and we spoke about nothing special yet everything; the baseball game, the progress on house work, the relief that came with good news, and dust that needed to be cleaned, and the longing for a poodle. Some describe the conversation as just words; I found them encouraging, nurturing, and fun. Life, shared between friends; this is what life is all about!
Yesterday was full of those kinds of experiences. New friends and old sat around the table talking about personal as well as philosophical views on life that had past and yet to come. The dialogued that occurred was frank, probing, fun, thought provoking, and encouraging all at the same time. Much of what we discussed had no clear answers or solutions. Regardless, I have more ideas on how to approach the situations then I did before we began.
The contrast with experiences earlier in the week is stark. The fact is that “the gossip of bad people gets them in trouble; the conversation of good people keeps them out of it.” (Proverbs 12.13) I like dialogue! I enjoy the conversation between people genuinely interested in listening, learning, sharing, growing, and walking together.
I know that not every conversation can be that way. At times, tough messages need to be delivered, yet often when the words come with concern, compassion, and mercy the impact is totally different than the harsh rhetoric that easily flows off of my lips. There are words that come with bad news. In the past two days I have learned of the death of an old teacher and friend as well as the probable death of a work colleague. Both emails struck to the heart, yet I sensed encouragement because of who and how they came.
Today is fresh and new. Today, you and I have the opportunity to make a difference for those around us. Do not hesitate; take it with both hands!