Words of Hope: The Courage of Conversation  

Dad and I often talked together in surprise how fearful people are to compassionately engage in difficult conversations. Instead, they turn to avenues that destroy meaningful and mutual dialogue through gossip, the courts, cutoff, silence, or ad hominem attacks.  

 I love what the blogger Maria Popova from Marginalian writes about conversation.  

“Every act of communication is an act of tremendous courage in which we give ourselves over to two parallel possibilities: the possibility of planting into another mind a seed sprouted in ours and watching it blossom into a breathtaking flower of mutual understanding; and the possibility of being wholly misunderstood… Candor and clarity go a long way in fertilizing the soil, but in the end there is always a degree of unpredictability in the climate of communication — even the warmest intention can be met with frost. Yet something impels us to hold these possibilities in both hands and go on surrendering to the beauty and terror of conversation, that ancient and abiding human gift. And the most magical thing, the most sacred thing, is that whichever the outcome, we end up having transformed one another in this vulnerable-making process of speaking and listening.”  

I believe this is the beloved conversation that God invites us to, an intimate conversation. God speaks our name. He knows our inner thoughts. He knows all the details of our lives. We pray for courage to encounter this sacred conversation with him and with all brothers and sisters of every creed here on Earth. May we be granted the courage to invite God to speak and be given the humility to listen. May we encounter a holy conversation of both beauty and awe.  

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, 

“Whoever would love life 
    and see good days 
must keep their tongue from evil 
    and their lips from deceitful speech. 
They must turn from evil and do good; 
    they must seek peace and pursue it.”
– 1 Peter 3:8-11