Reflection by Scott Stoner
This proverb applies to difficult conversations within our families, as well as to planting trees. The best time for any of us to have begun a difficult conversation is several months or several years ago, at the moment when we first became aware of a difficulty that needed to be discussed. The second best time to begin that difficult conversation is today.
Why do we avoid difficult conversations? There are likely many reasons, but I believe one primary reason is that we experience vulnerability when we have these conversations. But as long as we avoid the hard conversation, we can continue to think that we are right and, while letting our resentments brew, believe that the other person is clearly at fault and is the one who needs to change. Choosing to have a difficult conversation means that we will most likely find out that the other person has a considerably different perspective on the issue and that they believe there are some necessary changes that we need to make. We will also need to listen with an open heart, knowing that we may begin to see things differently.
Forgiveness requires significant risk and vulnerability from all parties involved. Yet when we are willing to have those difficult conversations, real change, or conversion, can occur. The word “conversion” comes from the same root as the word “conversation,” a good reminder that authentic conversations have the capacity to change or convert all parties involved.
Making It Personal: Why do you think it is hard for family members to have difficult conversations? What do you think of the link between the words conversionand conversation? Is there a conversation that you want to start now, but perhaps are finding it difficult to do so?
Follow along with us this Lent season with our daily devotional and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner & The Rev. Jan Kwiatowski.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.