The bishop is clearly not one to go around talking over people. He did not even hint at a defense when the old man mistakenly assumed that he led the typical posh lifestyle for a man in his position. He allowed the man to think what he might, and merely listened for God in the interaction. Such trust! Such servanthood! Such courage. And the bishop seemed open even to the new liberal perspective.

I am moved to listen much more and to rejoice with others in the details of their lives. To disappear myself from view except in how I can serve. To bring up discussion and details of my own life to the extent that it is encouraging and stimulating, but to talk much less about myself because usually people don’t want to hear it. I say I am moved that way, but I am still often seeking someone to tell my news to, whatever that good news might be.

But to abandon my own reputation seems quite difficult. To let others make judgments based on wrong perspectives without correcting them is a place completely new for me.

So how could someone behave as the bishop behaves? It has to do with giving up control. It is in trusting that God is working and desires humility and faith rather than persuasion, answers and insight; and there may not be a happy ending. But I don’t control the happy endings anyway. When I take control, I lack influence. And when the happy ending comes it is in spite of me rather than because of me.

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