We attended a small group last night...since coming to KC we've been involved in a house congregation (and loved it), but this was different...kids were sequestered in the basement as the adults committed two hours working at getting to know one another. And it is work....casual contact is so much easier (and less satisfying).
The format intrigued me....after a few minutes of howdy-how-are-you and a quick round of what's new in everyone's life, we dedicated nearly an entire hour to hearing one woman's story. I was struck with how poor we are at listening. We all knew this woman, and even though we were the new ones there we had heard bits and pieces of the story...but it seemed none of us in the group knew the entire thing. It was fascinating to hear her take her time and lead us down personal bunny trails, often at our encouragement. It served to reaffirm my theory that everyone has a story.
That thought was touched on again this morning when John Dawson, leader of YWAM, spoke again to the staff. This man travels the world...every week. He regularly stops mid-talk to try and say accurately what continent he was on when telling the details of a story. As busy as this guy is, he told of the joy he has in getting taken to the airport, because it means at least twenty minutes - sometimes an hour - with another of God's souls. Each soul has it's own story and will make it's own imprint on history.
How can we ever walk past someone and think of them as ordinary...or less than worthy of our full attention?