The following is a response to Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt on the word, LISTEN. You can read more five minute posts by visiting her site. And, if you’re a writer, consider participating!
They came to our door three weeks ago, and when I looked through our peephole and saw their bike helmets I almost pretended they weren’t there.
But then I remembered back to that chapel talk years ago at Westmont, the one between the Christian and the Mormon who’d been close friends for many, many years. Dialogue, the men said, was more important than proving another person wrong. For years they’d talked about their beliefs, debating about heaven and hell, the Holy Spirit, and words like grace and apostasy. And while neither had changed their mind, they were better men because of the conversation.
And so I told the boys to come back, and they did. They came into our home last night and ate the cookies I made, and asked us what we knew about their faith and listened when we asked questions. We did a lot of listening too. Because respectful dialogue can only happen if you listen first.
They left with a ziplock bag of cookies and thankful smiles. Out into the warm night they rode, back to a quiet apartment that sits empty most days as they cover over 40 miles of ground on their bikes.
They said most people close their garage doors when they ride by. I’m so glad we left our door, and our hearts, open.