The counselling psychologist arrived early for the appointment. She had come to a rural community that day to meet with a lady, on behalf of a government ministry, and the meeting was to take place at a local church. However, when she arrived all the doors to the church were locked and the caretaker was nowhere to be found. The lady she was meeting was there, and apologised for having her waste her time. However the counsellor assured her that the time needn’t be wasted, and started looking around the building for a place to meet where they would have some privacy. There was an old staircase at the back, with some space on the ground below it, so she asked the lady if she would comfortable there.
“But what about you?!” Was the instant reply.
“I’m fine to sit right here … I’m more concerned about you.”
“Me? I’m quite happy here!” She responded with a warm smile.
So they made themselves comfortable on the ground, and began the meeting. The lady opened up quickly and shared very honestly after that. In re-telling the story afterwards, the counsellor commented that her willingness to sit on the ground in order to spend the time with the lady communicated more than any words could have done.
Communication as a whole has much less to do with the words that are said, and much more to do with the condition of the relationship.
This topic was discussed in small groups on zoom last Saturday, as part of the “Foundations” training course that we have just started. Because of Covid, and having to do it online, people are able to attend without travelling. This meant we had almost 80 participants from 8 different countries. The person who related the story above was the counselling psychologist, and her story demonstrated the topic so well, I asked her if she would be happy for me to share it.
When I asked for permission to share the story, she commented on how many times little nuggets of wisdom from Foundations have been coming back to her throughout the week.
In one sense, Foundations is a course which contains messages of wisdom from God’s word that have proved relevant to people across many classes and cultures. In another sense, it is much more than a training course, because we recognise that the message relies on the condition of the relationships in which it is discussed. In each course a network of small communities takes shape, where people are able to discuss some of the most important truths of life.
So please pray for every participant who is doing Foundations, that their lives would be changed as they engage in the message of each unit, and that they would impart the life-changing message to others.
“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” 1 Corinthians 9:22 – 23