Have you ever had an experience where you are drawn to silence by the presence of someone larger than yourself, who lives in an entirely different arena of life than you do?
This was the growth curve I quickly found myself entering into last night, as I had the privilege to join a group of men in their 40’s and 50’s for an open time of transparent sharing last night. Hosted by my friend Bill Pfeifer (whose house I have been staying in these past few weeks while in Orange County), a group of 11 guys gathered last night to stop and ‘breathe,’ as one of them put it. Most of these men are wildly successful businessmen who own or manage their own companies, are heavily invested in major projects throughout Southern California, and who traffic in circles of influence and wisdom that I don’t even know exist.
It was staggering to hear their hearts last night: to see the devastating impact that this recession has taken on their souls, marriages, businesses, and personal sense of identity as men. I found myself wanting to withdraw into a corner, nakedly aware that the mountains in my life are mere molehills compared to these men, some of whom are staring struggling marriages, a fresh divorce, and tens of millions of dollars of lost revenue in the face, asking themselves again where God is in the middle of staggering loss.
The level of vulnerability, struggle, weariness, and a desire for new hope to emerge in their lives and families was so impacting to me last night. Staring my own needs in the face less than a month from needing to leave for South Africa (I am at just over 50% of needed support budget, with a bit over 15K to raise in this short period of time–Will it happen? Who knows, it’s now a God thing, with God timing…), I was both challenged to re-engage in transparent community with others, and stunned to realize that the ‘arenas’ I will struggle within will only grow larger over time.
I was honored to be in the company of wise, humbled, broken men last night. It’s all perspective.