My curiosity got the best of me. He was sitting there with this little bitty flash light reading this little bitty book with little bitty words and he was enjoying it.
My curiosity always gets the best of me. He may not have been a talker I thought. When I asked him if he minded if I added more steam all I got was a head nod and a point. However, I was not deterred.
He put down the book and I saw my opportunity.
“Whatcha readin?”, I said.
This began a conversation in the sauna. For the next five minutes we found out who the other was. Except for our approximate age and both growing up in Georgia our backgrounds were quite different. One white, one black. One retired from the military, one no military at all.
We shared how growing up in the 60’s had affected both of us. He from Pike County could not figure out why the community would not allow the area to grow and diversify. Me, from Atlanta, could not figure out why we had to move away from our community because people that were “different” from us were moving into the neighborhood.
But we both agreed that both the negatives and the positives of our childhood made us who we are today. And I guess he figured I was okay when I began quoting Dr. King, especially this one, “11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America.” I love that quote.
That was Benny. Then Larry came in. He sat between Benny and I going at it in a friendly way. He quietly stepped into the conversation and after he and Benny began to discuss the benefits of the spoken Word verses the Word in song I left them with it. I was out of the sauna.
If we can agree to some things and agree to disagree on others in a sauna, why in the world can’t we get more accomplished in life, in politics and in God matters.
Jesus hung out with people different than he. When you are perfect and the actual Son of God then everybody is different, but in his case, he made a point of it.
Why don’t we, all of us we, spend more time discovering who people are, especially those with different backgrounds, different belief systems, different anticipated futures.
“While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.” Mark 2:15
I never noticed that before. “There were many (sinners) who followed him.” They also were hungry for truth. We think we as christian believers are the only ones searching for truth. Everyone is, without one exception. Just in many cases, they have not been exposed to it. That is where we come in.
So, today, or in the next few days, interact with people who are different than you. Find out some information about them. Let Forest Gump inspire you when he talked about shoes. “You have nice shoes. Shoes can tell you a lot about people. Where they going. Where they been.”
Find out where people have been and where they are going.
It is amazing where it will take both of you.