Listening to the Senate hearing of Judge Kavanaugh in his candidacy for the high court, reminds me how ready we are to bait each other, set little traps of conversation, lay unintended meanings on people's words, to try to catch them saying something or taking a position of which we disapprove.
At least, this happens in high places, while in the world of neighbors, and family, it seems quite different. Our intention is much more toward accommodating to each other's lives, sensing the need of others, and speaking to that need: a stated trouble, a persistent problem, a personality need - sometimes that first seems to ask for our understanding, to beg for our sympathy, to show our need for encouragement.
A couple weeks ago, in my little climb on a child's mountain, when I, not a child, could only take baby steps to inch my way up to a resting point, my athletic daughter held out complete understanding, and on the way down, held my hand every step of the way, quietly guiding and encouraging me.
Her response was instinctive, readily offered, and the very help I needed.
That is much more likely to be our response among those we know. Even to a garrulous neighbor, who loves to talk, and needs to talk, we are far readier to listen, and go along, and agree, and encourage, than not.
I believe it is a Christian response. Because we are taught to care. How we need to cultivate that.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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