But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? …. And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? …. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:44- 48NIVUK)
Exchanges of Words
Conversation has been an important word for me- I spend my life thinking I am engaged in them. Recently looking at the linguistic roots of the word, I found “live among”, ‘be familiar with” and “keep company with”. (New Oxford American Dictionary) Conversation, relationship and community seem to walk together.
An opinion column about a Quebec snowstorm, ill advised by its author’s own admission, has illustrated for me how broken our culture is. Outbursts of opinion have isolated the author and isolated the head of his university after his resignation from a posting. Social media has exacerbated this, with attack being more frequent a tool than inquiry for clarification. Words are exchanged but nobody seems to be speaking to each other to restore broken relationships.
Conversation is listening deeply to one another, not just to our words and content, but our emotions, body language and unspoken ways of communication. When disagreements or offense flair up it seems that working to restoration of community is part of conversation. Our culture has moved more to public shaming. I have a long way to go on my own pathway here but I think we can help our culture by our own approach to civil discourse when we are tempted to the opposite.
A Prayer for Today
Loving God, you are generous in shining the sun on us all without any favourites. We need light on our situations more than heat if we are going to create your kingdom character here in our world this week. Give us grace to work to converse with one another in truth and love… For Jesus’ sake.