When you’re an evangelical Christian, there is always an agenda: save a soul. You might be the best listener as you “witness” but the hidden motive is to “love them to Christ”. You don’t just listen.
I’m not writing this to criticize born-againers. Lord knows, I spent enough time learning the ins and outs of salvation. I only wish that I had been taught to simply accept people: their beliefs and wherever they stood in life.
I was reminded of this as I left the Women’s March and stopped for gas. Montpelier was stuffed to the gills but the attendant seemed none to happy. This surprised me. I mentioned how great the day was and she made a motion as if to zip her lips and I thought, Uh-oh, a Trumper. Shit. I want to get on the road. Of course, it also provoked my Gemini curiosity and I asked what was up.
That opened a flood of frustration: the march was meaningless because our votes didn’t count, she’d never register (she was in her 60s) and both candidates sucked. Until someone came knocking, she’d live her life just as she always had.
I nodded and listened. I really didn’t have much to say because a) she was mostly right and b) my feet hurt. I simply stood there. No agenda, no need to correct her. Finally I said, I guess all we can do is live the best way we can.
With that, she broke into a smile. Ah, there it was. Sisterhood. I could have chosen to lecture or run away. Yet the day was about connection — with a bitter attendant, thousands of laughing, earnest, angry, powerful women or the couple who refused to give up a seat at the coop because they were “saving it for a friend” and triggered me back to 8th grade. The stories were all there, waiting for me to listen.
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