common ground

Griffin had surgery a few weeks ago. The nurse anesthetist was amazing. She had toys and candy and all sorts of gadgets to keep him occupied and interested in what was going on. But still, anxiety over what was happening seized him. And then it happened. He looked at the lanyard that her ID was hanging on and smiled. He leaned forward and touched it and said to her “Boston Red Sox? You like the Red Sox?” --- and so began a friendship. She seized the moment and started talking to him about players and games … and he was hers. He gave me a quick “I love you” and a kiss and then went right off with her, chatting the whole time.

I was reminded by their encounter how important it is to find common ground with others before sharing the gospel with them. Sometimes in our urgency to share Christ with the world we can be “outsiders” --- someone that others can’t seem to relate to.

Years ago, when my husband was a newspaper columnist, I asked him who the most interesting person was that he had interviewed. I thought surely he would say Catfish Hunter or one of the many politicians he’d interviewed over the years. Instead, his answer surprised me. “I can’t say,” he responded. “Everyone has a story to tell. You just have to get it out of them.”

Next time you are out in the community, look around and let your curiosity take over. Ask the clerk where she’s from. Ask the teller how many children she has. Ask the doctor where he went to med school. Get interested, and I guarantee you will find some common ground.

And when you have common ground, you have the amazing opportunity to share Christ.

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