My conversation ended midstream. I thought it was important. I was sure that my listener needed to know that I was explaining. It seemed relevant and interesting. As certain as I was of these things, it was clear that my audience of one did not share my view. He was bored. He wanted to be anywhere but where he was. He had other things on his mind.
In an instant, I knew I had a choice. It was a harsh one. I could continue, pressing on with what I thought was important, knowing that I was and would be rejected. Alternatively, I could stop, letting the conversation die. It was a clear choice. There was no middle ground.
I shut my mouth. My voice simply drifted off, the sentence left unfinished.
He did not seem to notice. With his “hmmm”, I realized that I had been dismissed. The conversation was over. There was no invitation to continue.
I wandered if I had caught myself soon enough. From the reactions that followed, I do not think so! He wanted to be away, far away, and quickly. His interested has wandered ahead of him, now they simply wanted to reconnect.
I needed help. If only I had the same voice as Paul in my life. “Get out of here as quickly as you can. None of the Jews here in Jerusalem are going to accept what you say about me.” (Acts 22.18) He had the opportunity to exit before being rejected. The question, then and now, was direct. Will you take it or leave it?
In a moment of rare clarity, I let it go. In the middle of a incomplete sentence, it ended and turned towards a subject that was important to the Other.
In that moment, everything changed. Passive eyes became alert. Dull responses stood on edge. Even the obvious tiredness morphed into a quiet energy.
Life likes to guide us when we listen. Often I am on a mission. I am passionate, energetic. I am also blind. I like walking in the light, especially directed.