The darkness of recent days is passing. I can sunlight amidst the thunderstorms and I know that there is hope. I find myself coming back to the same question again and again. Every time I pose the question regarding the future I get a statement in return. Simply put, “we don’t know where you want us to go.” Without saying a word I can hear the follow-on words. “If we only understood then we would hear the question you keep repeating.”
It is almost too easy to force the question of buying into the future and hope. It is critical that everyone has their chance, even if you know some will reject and others will join this decision at some point in the future. Jesus set up the model that makes good leadership sense today. When everything was answered the desertions began without prompting. “Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: ‘Do you also want to leave?’” (John 6.67)
When we want to present ideas, especially hope, it is important to remember the sequence. Never ignore the question raised from a lack of understanding. One must remember this fact no matter how simple and plain you have made things. Linked to this is the mantra of clarity is never gained by mere repetition of the same sounds!
Once you have validated, affirmed, and confirmed people understand with their hearts and minds, then and only then give them the opportunity to leave. Even those who leave need truth, even though the timing may be slightly postponed.
There is no limit to the two-step process. We do not have an expiration date on community, teamwork, and acceptance. Excuses for not acting with ongoing compassion are not accepted merely because the original offer was rejected. People desperately need models that preserve through adversity. Hope is born in unmerited gifts of mercy and love. Life models are the strongest agents of chance and conversion. People always thirst for free gifts laced with hope, love, and acceptance. The opportunity and window for you and I to act is wide open, always.
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