Knowing when a conversation is open is tricky business. Politicians wrap themselves in a mantle of openness while proceeding to be anything except that value. Friends often chat about wanting to have to secrets, yet both parties find it difficult to have the conversations that need to be had. The question always comes around to when, where, and most importantly why.
Recently two conversations contrasted with each other. The first was a series of words shared between two people that never got past the air between them. I listened as the sounds passed each other without connecting, wondering if either party was going to discover what was going on. The natural wondering continues to the possibilities of what might happen at that stage; would they be able to accept the harsh reality of the pointlessness of what was occurring? My speculation did not go further because the conversation ended without discovery on either side.
The contrast with two friends getting together at the office was and is stark. I watched as the business issues were covered and then the serious conversation began. It was easy to spot the different. Their body language spoke of a willingness to take risks. The attitudes spoken and unspoken towards each other carried respect and care. I could not grasp all the words however what I did hear echoed of an open dialogue based on shared values and priorities.
“Good leaders cultivate honest speech; they love advisors who tell them the truth.” (Proverbs 16.13)
I am fortunate to have a few friends that seem to know when it is time to probe. It would be difficult to suggest that I always welcome their words, but this does not seem to deter them in any way. I understand their motives and I trust their intent. I hope that my words to them are as honest as I perceive they are to me.
God comes to us with open hands and clear motives. Often I place shackles on his efforts with me but he remains my Father and Friend; he is yours to.