The clich? says communication is a two-way street. Another clich? says friends go the extra distance. Combine the two and one concludes that the process of communication requires a lot of work from both sides and may be beyond simple description. My experience confirms the premise and conclusion however this process doesn’t really get into the reality of communication, listening, and sharing.
In a story of old, Jesus was talking, teaching, and sharing; in many ways it was the same type of conversation that occurred again and again this past week. As I read the record of his words now the intent is clear. I could stretch the words, try to make things complicated, and in the end confuse myself. But this doesn’t seem to be the purpose of the speaker, so why should I go down this path? As clear as the meaning is for me it obviously isn’t for those who were present. Their response is candid.
“So, is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by ‘You can't come with me’?” (John 8.22)
This week I had several conversations where the listener effectively said these same words. “Are you really going to do _________ (fill in the blank)? Is this your meaning? Why do you think this makes sense?”
Only one case seemed to get it right. In the rest I struggled to understand how I could have been heard in the context of the response. Yet the confusion was on the table. The question left unanswered; what was I going to do with this.
The good news is that I could do something about it because I knew.
I wonder if I have given God the same permission to clarify, educate, and share when I am confused. Am I a honest listening when it comes to God? It is hard to see yesterday with a clear view. Yet today is unwritten. Beautiful sun, warm breezes, and wonderful family all talk of God’s love, compassion, and mercy. It is time to listen. This is my opportunity. It’s yours as well.
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