Our church house group only has ten members. At our Sunday church picnic I sat next to one in a beautiful garden. Sharing an enjoyable bring and share lunch we relaxed. And, as you do, conversation meandered widely. I mentioned the fingerposts that my friend had repainted and how excited he was. With a jolt he sat up: 'Why, that's exactly what I have done in the Cambridge area. All kinds of different metal posts, sometimes at ground lever and often in a bad way. It's hard work I can tell you. Yeh, that's what I have done.' Fancy that, another enthusiastic for repainting metal sign posts.
And yesterday at our small group BBQ (in this extraordinary heat-spell) I sat next to another man. In conversation I touched on the task I have tomorrow of taking a group of US students on a Christian heritage tour in Cambridge. I mentioned Erasmus of Rotterdam and how we will walk past Queens' College where he came to translate the New Testament. My friend smiled broadly. 'I worked at Queens' for many years. Erasmus worked up the tower (now named after him) and I painted his study room as part of my job there. Oh, yes, its quite a place - you can see the Erasmus Tower from the street.' He went on to advise me who to talk to in order to gain proper access and to other important artifacts.
Alas, on our tour I won't have time to take the group but I was struck by how these two casual conversations within three days of each other touched on stuff I was just thinking about. It just shows the importance of conversation - talking and listening to others.
In my preparation for the US visit tomorrow I have learned much...I shall share a couple of posts shortly.