What do you do when someone makes a choice that you totally, completely, and without any hesitation disagree with? I know I struggle with the situation I find myself wrestling with my emotions, not my intellect. I know about the individual’s good side, at least in my head. The greater the distance is between me and someone I disagree with, the greater the chance is that I will accept him. As he gets closer, I find myself struggling with acceptance. The “but” comes with how I feel about what I understand! It touches me in a way that I find myself treating him differently because of it – almost as if he was a stranger. In the extreme, words like unconditional and equality cannot be found in my language.
I am reminded of a sales manager who was my direct opposite. When I said yes, he suggested no. As he indicated a willingness to explore, I suggested leaving the discussion. One evening we ended up in a strange city at a customer dinner. During the dinner we mutually wore faces of teamwork and collaboration. As the dinner ended and others went on to different events, we found ourselves with each other. In an unusual gesture for both of us, we decided to chat. We skipped work and wandered into life.
Several hours later two surprises emerged. First, we were far more alike than we were different. Our struggled, hopes, and dreams shared common threads. Our backgrounds has surprising points of overlap – in ways that inspired us as well as ones where we struggled with uncertainty and pain. Second, in the end we realized we were undiscovered friends.
We do not see each other since we are on opposites sides of the world. When we do, we revel in our stories – eager to catch up with the other. We are family in a way that reminds me of David reminder of what changed; “What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name.” (Psalm 33.21) My best is with him and you.