Calmly Listening in Antagonistic Times
Good morning, Kaleid ladies!
Welcome to Wednesday! Did you have a chance to plan dinner with a neighbor?
One Kaleid woman shared, “Thank you! The Kaleid email was the reminder I needed to ask my much younger next door neighbors over for dinner. They’re going to come this weekend, and we’re excited to get to know them better.” We hope that whoever you eat with this week, it was with a deeper awareness of the loving power of shared conversation.
Today we continue with our series that challenges us to become other-focused and action-oriented by sharing meals in order to share listening-spaces with those close to us. This is a way that we can love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Can we admit together that it’s been a heavy and issue-laden week? Kurds fleeing in Syria, Atatiana Jefferson’s tragic death, the multitude of LGBTQ issues during Pride week, and ongoing impeachment related drama can make us all want to either put our heads in a hole and hands over our ears or scream, “Can’t we all just get along!?!” from the top of a building.
Wherever we stand on the political issues that roil on the surface of these cultural waves, as Christians we agree that Jesus’s embodiment of the relentless grace and mercy of God is an absolutely critical healing balm for our contemporary world. And guess what, ladies? We are the Church, and we have the privilege of carrying that grace and mercy with us into our interactions.
In light of the coming election year that stretches in front of us, and in light of the fact that it matters that we listen well in order to love better, this week’s challenge is a little scary and a lot exciting.
Ready? Here it is, step by step...
We invite you to find two or three TRUSTED friends. (We mean the friends who see you with your five-days-past-due-for-the-wash yoga pants on and wrap you in a loving, albeit stinky embrace anyway.)
We invite you to find a lunch or dinner date that works for the (small) group.
We invite you to tell those friends that the topic of the discussion is politics and that you’re going to take time to listen to one another. The goal here is just that: to listen.
We invite you to ask three questions: What’s your most confusing political issue and why? Where are you most passionate about a political issue and how does that issue relate to your life? If you could change one thing in the political landscape in our country, what would it be and why?
Then, listen. Just listen to one another. You probably won’t agree with everything that is said, even if you’re “mostly” aligned. You probably will want to interrupt or fire off one liners or disparage world leaders with abandon. You probably will wonder why your Kaleid tribe would even envision such an indigestion-producing option for lunch.
But by the end you might hear your friend’s heart. You might hear her passion. You might hear her hurt. You might hear her hopes for the world and for her children if she has them. You might hear enough that when the next news cycle drops, you’ll breathe a bit more freely, knowing that you have friends who know you who are thoughtful and wise. You don’t have to go ride the roller coaster alone and neither does she.
You will have neighbored well. You will have loved someone else enough to allow her space to think, to formulate, to articulate, and to be heard. Even in this crazy, loud, mixed up place we love to call our country.
Go mix it up a bit, girls.
The Kaleid Team