Friday, August 13, 2010

Fierce Conversations

I've been reading the story of Abraham, and it's interesting how a new perspective on my life gives me a different perspective on his!  I'm also surprised to see how much space in such a relatively short Book is used for some seemingly meaningless material... or is it?? 

So, today I recognized that Abraham's purchase of a grave for Sarah is similar to his agreement with Abimilech over the well.  That is, he goes to great pains to make clear agreements where no misunderstanding is possible (one can only hope) and where it's clear that he's purchased rather than received this property as a gift. 

So what?  Well, I began to think of relationships in my life where clear agreements would be of critical importance.  After the lessons I'm trying to learn in being assertive, I could recognize this quality in Abe, too. 

Obviously I want this type of clarity in all my family relationships, and it's a good safe place to practice it.  However, I recognized that perhaps Abe was so careful, partly because he was dealing with people from other cultures, where the quagmire of misunderstanding sucks the life right out of you! 

That's where I really woke up, because my relationships with refugees are always cross-cultural AND full of Spanglish, or Arabic-glish, or Mandarin-glish, or...   Now I'm beginning to take careful note of how Abe conducted himself (ignoring the repeat performances of passing his wife off as his sister). 

Lessons:  prayer, clarity, assertiveness, time and attention are all required to communicate effectively rather than creating stumbling blocks for the gospel.  Now you know how you can pray for me and my team!