We gathered around my friend’s table for food and fellowship.
Each of us had prepared something to share.
The food was passed.
And the conversation began.
I didn’t know any of the women other than my dear friend who invited me to participate in breaking bread and time in God’s Word.
As we began to speak and share, I realized quickly that I didn’t think the same as some of the women. I didn’t feel the same about the issues we were discussing.
Not at all.
But I listened.
I didn’t try to change their minds.
I didn’t get angry and feel the need to prove my point.
I participated in the conversation when I could while holding on to what I believe to be true.
This is what I’ve been learning.
There is a time and a place to share and there is a time and a place to be silent.
I had a wonderful evening with these women. I am sure we voted differently and that we handled the pandemic differently and that if you were to give us a survey with a list of questions about the current state of things and what needs to be addressed, there’s a good chance the boxes we check off would be very different.
But in the midst of those differences, we had a beautiful meal and enjoyed a wonderful time of discussion and prayer.
Did we see everything the same? No.
And we may not ever.
But that’s okay.
We all love God. We all love Jesus. We all are trying our best. We all are on different faith walks and journeys and have different life experiences and will be convicted of things in our own time.
I don’t want to ever be so caught up in the differences that I miss the similartites. I don’t ever want to be so bent on proving my point that I miss the fruit of being together. I don’t want to scream and yell and try to convince anyone of why I am right and they are wrong.
Because the things I thought were true in my 20s and 30s are much different now in my 40s.
And the things I think to be true now may be different in my 50s and 60s and 70s and 80s and please, Lord, let me make it to my 90s.
I don’t ever want to stop listening and learning and participating in the conversation.
Even when we don’t agree.
Because I am learning, it isn’t my job to change your mind. And it isn’t your job to change mine.
But it is important we show respect.
Even to those who think differently.