Two friends stopped by to catch-up yesterday. As we talked of old days and current ones, it became clear that on the ride together to our house that they had been sharing stories. It reminded me of the things that friends do in good times and bad. We walk through old memories, gently rediscovering our emotional steps. Rarely do we take logic or intent with us; I find it to be a meandering process where I am exploring, looking for points of interest or curiosity. It seems that there were two points of intersection in our lives, both driven by a singular response to Divinity's Spirit.
I wish I could say that I speak and hear Divinity on a regular basis. I do not think one-way conversations where I tell God what I think God wants to hear should be seen as a dialogue. I am reluctant to suggest that formula interactions qualify as a conversation. I am talking about the kind of conversations that nurture, guide, and ultimately define relationships.
As I look at successful partnerships, friendships, and relationships between men and women, each foundation is anchored by heart level conversations where both sides are listening, sharing, listening some more, reflecting, and on occasion talking. Increasingly in this overwhelming, too much data flooding my life, world I find myself in, I do not stop to take time for this type of conversation with anyone. In the process I find that my community continues to shrink, fragment, and shift towards isolation.
There is a simple remedy. It starts with a commitment and recognition that being in relationship is always better than being alone. It continues with being willing to invest in those relationships. This often involves time together in silence, simply being and doing, and listening. Third, it requires that I respond to opportunities when they come. When “God's angel spoke to Philip: 'At noon today I want you to walk over to that desolate road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza.' He got up and went.” (Acts 8.26) This can be you and me.
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