Our hope for A Language of Healing for a Polarized Nation is that it would change the way people interact with those around them. I love the stories where that is happening. Here are two I got just last week that really touched me:
Our publisher sent me this story after going into a Barnes and Noble in Colorado:
Out of curiosity, I attempted to find a copy of A Language of Healing. I was unable to locate it so I asked a customer service rep to see if they had it. She informed me that unfortunately they were sold out but that they could try and ship a copy to me in time for Christmas. I thanked her but declined, informing her that I was associated with the publishing company for A Language of Healing.
She got very excited and told me that her 14-year-old son loved the book. He is very passionate about politics and has been asking some very challenging questions about some of the current issues in today’s political atmosphere. The Barnes and Noble employee went on to say that there were a lot of books that B&N sells that she does not see the point in even carrying. She wanted me to express her deepest thanks in taking the risk to write a book worthy of the world’s attention and told me she has intentionally sold several copies after reading it for herself with her son.
Then, I got a series of texts from a good friend who lives in Mississippi:
Earlier in the day, he had met a Methodist pastor living in the area. After a brief conversation, my friend invited the pastor to go to dinner some evening with their wives and further the conversation. They exchanged cell numbers, but a bit later when my friend texted the pastor to firm up dinner arrangements he got back this text:
“Thank you for your gracious offer but our political views and views on faith are pretty much on opposite ends of the spectrum. My wife will be running as a Democrat in the state legislature. We appreciate the invitation and are glad you love this community like we do but we would rather not enter into a situation that would make either or both of us uncomfortable.”
My friend responded: “I got your text. Perhaps we could start with a coffee at Starbucks for just you and me? I’m sorry if I did anything to create the idea that friendship depends on agreement. In fact, I’d say just the opposite. Attached is a book called “A Language of Healing…” which I recently endorsed at the request of the authors. You will see that conversations don’t make me uncomfortable at all. I understand however if you or your wife are not up for that. By the way, I’m not even a Republican anymore so being with Democrats is definitely no problem. Happy New Year”
With the text, he sent photos of the front and back cover of the book, and his endorsement inside it.
Shortly after, he got the following text: “I am pleasantly surprised. You did not do anything to make me think that friendships depend on agreement. All I had to go on was info I found on Google about your past political views and so thought we might not enjoy each other’s company. I have ordered the book and will give it a read. After I have finished it you and I can get together for coffee. Thanks for your gracious response.
To which my friend responded: “Sure. Google and Facebook are from some hellish demon, or at least that’s my opinion based on experience. It’s too easy nowadays to dislike someone from a distance. I am quite confident we can smile about any differences. Thanks.
He agreed to meet for coffee!
In such small moments the culture begins to turn.
Who can you build a bridge with in 2020?
5 thoughts on “One Conversation at a Time”
Great news, Wayne. Get you and Beth are thrilled at how God is using what He sent flowing through you. Vesselhood is amazing!
Happy New Year, Wayne! I wanted you to know that the link does not work in the first sentence of this post. I haven’t emailed you for a long time, but I’ve kept up on most of your podcasts and posts here. Conversations! Yes! You are a father and a teacher and a great listener. All of my mentors were great listeners and we had long conversations. I’ve so appreciated your modeling conversations since the beginning of the podcast with Brad, and what you do at your gatherings. I also see The Shack as not just a story, but a long conversation with God.
Thanks, Steve. We’ve repaired the link. And thanks for your comments about conversations as being so key. I have a blog post coming up about that too!
I got a copy of one of Wayne Jacobsen’s books in Nigeria, West Africa titled “So You Don’t Want to go to Church anymore.” I have read this book over five times and have been greatly blessed. Am interested in finding a way to learn firsthand to live the life l read about in this book. Bearing in mind that the distance is a bit far, is there any help or encouragement l can get in this regard? Plus l would need other titles from this author. I feel at home with his understanding and knowledge of personal relationship with the Lord.
Thank you for your comment. The best teacher I know is the Holy Spirit who dwells in you. Ask him to teach you. There are many free resources on this website to help you learn to trust his leading. Look under “Free Stuff” in the main menu. You’ll find audio and video series there like Transitions, Engage, and the Jesus Lens. All might be of help to you, but it is most important that you learn to follow Jesus as he reveals himself to you by his Spirit. “You have no need for any man to teach you…” the writer of Hebrews wrote. Learn to follow him. It will be the best thing you’ll ever do.
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