We all have “others” in our lives — those people who somehow are so different from us, or see the world so differently than we see it, that it becomes difficult for us to really be open to learning from them. Sometimes it even becomes difficult to simply have an honest and heartfelt conversation with them. This especially hurts when a person like this is a family member. And what about the Family of God? These kind of disagreements NEVER arise in the Body of Christ, right?!?
As United Methodist pastors across the state of NC prepare to travel for Annual Conference, it is a good opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of finding common ground, even with the “others.” This week, The Work of the People, a Christian video company, put out a short clip of an interview with the wise author and preacher, Barbara Brown Taylor, talking about just this subject. In the clip she asks,
What if instead of wanting them to be better people and be made more in the image of God as I understand God, what would it be like to change the subject and try to find something that person and I could meet on?
She goes on to say, “I like to find something with the other that brings us both to tears.” What would our conversations look like if they started from a place of commonality instead of difference? How might we be changed by these conversations?
Take a look at this 2 1/2 minute video, and watch how she explores these and other questions about “establishing who is right.” And know that we are praying for and with you all for God’s voice to be heard in conversations at Annual Conference.