I picked them up in Park Hill at a lovely 1920’s Tudor style home 🏡 with a gorgeous yard full of flowers 💐, and ‘just right’ landscaping. They came out of the house and walked down the sidewalk looking as if they were attending the Academy Awards. They got in the backseat and we headed to the Brown Palace. We weren’t a block away when a conversation (argument) broke out that had obviously started before I ever picked them up. It never escalated to yelling or name calling, but I (as the fly on the wall) realized this was not a low grade “neiner-neiner” bickerfest. I thought “this could be a very long 18 mins”. It did not get better. By the time we hit Colorado Blvd. the pastor in me kicked in and I said “I know you did not ask me but just in case you would like some quick help I am a pastor with some training and experience in helping to untangle these kinds of issues”. I have no right to reveal the issues but the reality I heard was neither one of them was listening to the other.
It was as if they suddenly realized what they were doing. She said, “We obviously aren’t getting anywhere” and he added “You are a brave man!” So away I went. “First I want to say from what I heard, that you both care for each other”. There was a long pause and they both said simultaneously, “True”. That brought out a tiny bit of laughter. I said “Ok, you both get five blocks to tell the other your story on this issue. No interruptions, facial gestures or moaning. Then you get to tell your partner what you heard”. Away we went, she was first and she gave her speech and to his credit he did a very good job of reflecting what he heard. He then took his turn and she did an equally fine job of listening. I said “Ok, I want you to imagine a good friend telling you the story you just heard and then asking you for feedback.”
Once again they had no trouble sharing an empathetic response. We were coming up on the hotel. She said as she was laughing , “We are attending a fundraiser for “victims of domestic violence”. The irony was not lost on the three of us. I double parked the car. He asked me for something I was not expecting, “Would you pray for us right now?” It was a very short prayer, “God, thank you for this time, be with us all as we try to do a better job of listening.” Amen. They laughed some more and walked into the Brown Palace with style.
Onward and Upward,