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Listening to the "Other"

Dear Kaleid Ladies,


Did you schedule a political conversation lunch with friends? We would LOVE to hear what you learned and how it went! Email us at info@thekaleidproject.com to share!


I’ll bet that all of us, whether we shared it out loud at lunch with friends or not, can agree that the current conflagration of social media, political toxicity, evangelical infighting, and the frenetic pace of life cause us to want to just opt out sometimes. It’s hard to continue to give weight to weighty issues when all of the weight bears down on us all the time, right? 


So today, we’re inviting you to engage in a simple, one-on-one act of listening. A simple, single conversation allowing you to become other-focused and action-oriented without (hopefully) a lot of distraction or noise in the way. 


The challenge this week is to find a way to listen to the “other.” This might mean calling an acquaintance from a different age group, race, religion, or culture and inviting her to coffee, just to visit. This might mean intentionally engaging in conversation with someone different from you when you are out in the normal course of life - perhaps a waiter at a restaurant or a fellow mom at the soccer field. This might mean choosing to read a book that offers the experience of the “other” and enjoying the chance to listen slowly to absorb what you hear. 


In whatever interaction you find fits into your life and your plans, we challenge you to interact intentionally: to intend a listening ear, to intend an eye-to-eye moment of human empathy, to intend a grace space of attention where the snow globe of flying opinions and the backpack of weighty issues can be set aside. An interaction where you attend to the other and discover a page out of their story.


Do you ever imagine the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman playing out in front of you? We tend to think of the woman as the “other” in the story - the person outside of the bounds of Judaism and perhaps even outside the bounds of her society. But have you considered the encounter from her perspective? Jesus was “other,” too. He was male, he was not “from around these parts,” he was a religious teacher from what she perceived to be a faulty faith tradition, and he was imposing on her to get Him water. Threatening on all fronts. But she showed courage. After her initial brush off, she chose to stay in the conversation and listen. As she listened, she heard more of her own story even as she listened to His. In the process she got to know the Savior of the world. 


We can all learn more about our own stories as we stop, attend to, and listen to the other. Christ often uses our relationships with others to shape our hearts, because we were made in His image, and He is the Triune God of interactive, redeeming relationship. 


We love you,


The Kaleid Team

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