Eight said an enthusiastic 'yes.' And the discussion morphed from there.
This past week found us gathered 'round this community's virtual table for what turned out to be a much-longed-for dialogue. As in the finest of conversations, some bravely took the floor while others listened carefully. Speakers and listeners traded places over and over, the dance of inspiration continuing back and forth in the most reassuring fashion.
Hundreds of you came and went and returned again, this time with your friends ... and we were more than happy to move our chairs closer together to make plenty of room for each valued soul who dropped by. Weary shoulders touched, lonesome hearts connected, eyes lit up, smiles were given and received.
And many of you felt comfort in simply sitting quietly, gratefully soaking up the companionship of other kindred spirits.
Courage and vulnerability, compassion and grace, insight and empathy all melded together as we supported each other like eager fingers cradle a cup of warm sustenance.
And there was alot of 'oh, you, too? I thought I was the only one.'
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, souls connect as one. No matter what our marital status, culture, or age. Leadership status, ethnic background, or financial situation matter not one iota.
It turns out that our heart cries are quite similar after all. Who would've guessed?
Your public comments and private emails have let me know that there's been a bit of healing going on around here. Don't you love how God's sacred touch is evidenced as we connect at levels that are deeper than surface chit-chat? He specializes in redeeming our own personal pain and sorrow so that we are gifted to offer a healing touch to others.
Not necessarily by our words, although those can be a most worthy vehicle. But also in the sacred offering of our quiet presence. The attentiveness of our listening ear or the nod of the head in genuine empathy. The reaching out of an affirming hand, yes, even across the miles.
And in doing so, we speak the precious words we all yearn to hear.
'You are not alone.'
I could try to sum up all we've learned in recent days, but I'd be sure to leave out someone or something that should have been included. The eight stories and the dozens of conversations that followed are here and there. And they speak for themselves with a wholehearted clarity that's hard to miss.
Yet, there always comes a point in any kind of meaningful dialogue where we are obliged to ask ourselves this pivotal two-word question.
And what follows below are 4 rather personal questions I might ask a client if we were sitting together. They are open for your consideration. You might like to share your responses with the community in the comment section of this post.
Either way, I'm ever so grateful you've invested time and energy in this little mini-series. You've taught me much. As always.
What insights resonated most?
The biggest surprise?
Is there a tender place where God is ministering to your spirit?
Or maybe gently convicting you?
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 -