The man's 51-year autobiography took more than an hour to read, and it disclosed struggles with addictions, difficult personal relationships, and career disappointments. It included accounts of success and failure, discoveries and disappointments. Mixed in were his ongoing efforts to improve a static-ridden connection with Jesus.
This level of candor in our group is the result of almost two years of weekly meetings. That's how long it has taken us to build an appropriate trust level. Only now is there a willingness to peel back the secretive layers of life and invite the responses of friends.
As this man read his story, I shook my head. Not at the nature of his self-revelations but at how little, before this reading, I really knew him and the issues he was dealing with from day to day. I'm his pastor, for crying out loud, and until this moment I've seen only the surface of his life. And I was supposed to preach to him each week? And make a difference?
As his story continued, ...1