At times, a good conversation is priceless. I continue to be fortunate in receiving this gift from a network of friends that stay close. I find myself musing over their observations. Some continue to catch me by surprise. S/he always seems to see something that I cannot find in my vision. Others have a very different view of risks, behaviors, and potential situations. Their perspectives are priceless! They broader and clarify my vision. They add textures that I missed. They remind me of things that I overlooked.
I am not the first or the last to see the support and wisdom of others. In times long past, “as the meeting broke up, a good many Jews and converts to Judaism went along with Paul and Barnabas, who urged them in long conversations to stick with what they'd started, this living in and by God's grace.” (Acts 13.43) Today, consultants ply their trade giving corporations much needed advice. Politicians organize public listening sessions and ideally share ideas and proposals with a spirit of working together.
In this reflection, I find myself holding onto two reminders.
Support, even as it is filled with wisdom and insights, is worthless if I am not listening with the intent of learning. If I will not hear, what is the point? If I will not embrace, what is the reason? If I will not learn and take from the best, what is the rationale? Support invites us into dialogue. Communities are always about the collective, and never about the singular. The clich? is true; together we are stronger.
Support invites us into the More. More in this case is not just a broader range of friends and introductions. It includes an extended conversation with God. God’s voice is present in your life and mine. Not listening does not silence what way God speaks. Ignoring God will not drive God away. God is present, engaged in the nuances of the mundane.
We need whatever help we can get. Accepting another’s gifts is essential if we are going to be part of our communities.