I had an unexpected conversation with my orthodontist a week ago. A real conversation, set off by an honest question that I chose to return with an equally honest answer. She offered to drive me home after our appointment, and we spent the car ride sharing, well, battle scars.
I won’t get into the details of what we talked about (except to say that it had nothing to do with orthodontics at all). But I will admit that our exchange reminded me of two things:
One. The courage to tell a story goes two ways. When you’re brave about sharing who you are with someone–especially the stories that make up your inner truth–it frees them up to be brave as well. Not everyone might open up in the same way back, but some will, and I am learning more and more that it is worth taking that chance.
Two. People are icebergs. They show you very little on the surface, but underneath that stillness there is enough to sink a ship. And there is also enough to hold others up, and keep them from sinking. Pain binds. Hope binds closer.
In whatever unexpected forms they tend to occur, I always appreciate these honest exchanges. Reliving some stories is uncomfortable, painful even, but the narrative of suffering is anchored on redemption, and redemption is something we all need to talk about more. I know I do. At the close of the day, Grace holds us up better than any iceberg ever could.