Like coffee, good, strong conversations are real gifts.
I had two yesterday.
One happened at lunch with a couple of friends who needed to talk and I needed to talk to. I had a couple of stories to tell that I needed to get off my chest. They had a couple of stories that met the same criterion. So 75 minutes later, we were done. But I left encouraged, exhorted, wanting to do more and be more and all of those kinds of things. It was very much like my first cup of coffee in the morning, a sharpening tool that helps me focus a little more. A little jump start (though it was later in the day) that helped shape the rest of my day.
The second was with another friend for another 75 minutes wrestling with an important issue that has popped up on our cultural scene. There were questions and responses. There were arguments and rebuttals. There were strong words and strong emotions. Exhortations. Frustrations. Insecurities. Uncertainties. There were personal feelings and political comments. It was a slug fest. But we left as friends and with clarity and even some agreement on some aspects of the issue at hand. I'm sharper for it.
The first was an opportunity to unload and have people care. The second was an opportunity to argue as a person who cared.
That feels a little bit like church. Or what church ought to be.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...