Confrontation 101

I had a great lunch meeting today. The food and atmosphere at Great Seasons Cafe in the Shoppes at Bellgrade were both top notch; it was great to see a friendly face (Ryan, my friend from Powhatan!) as I walked in. I highly recommend this place for lunch (the only option, other than Sunday brunch or catering). It was excellent.

The meeting part was great, too. A bit surprising, as I wasn’t aware that my friend and co-leader from PCC needed to confront me about something. But she did.
This woman leads with grace and a ton of energy. She’s positive and passionate and I have learned much from her. The real-life work she does affords me a glimpse into the life of a woman in business in a way that is foreign to me. I deeply appreciate her presence in my life and in our church.
Today, we talked over all sorts of chatty things and then she slipped in the primary reason for the meeting with a question. Turns out I had said something in a recent meeting that caught her by surprise. The topic at hand was in her area of leadership, and I neglected to give her prior knowledge of some action I had taken. She let me know that she was taken aback, was a tad bit concerned, and – without saying so – that I’d really screwed up. I stuck my foot in my mouth, big time.
I’ve been confronted before, for good reason. I’ve done all sorts of stupid, thoughtless things. But I have never been schooled with such grace and dignity. I sat down with a friend today who gently, without personalizing the offense, told me that I could have and should have done things a lot better than I did.
I apologized; it was due. I truly was sorry. But I walked out of that meeting with a deep feeling of gratitude because somebody took the time to carefully share with me the fact that I had made a mistake.
Too often, we are offended or we witness mistakes and we seize the opportunity to right the wrong and educate the offender. It feels good to be on the side of right, and our human nature might revel in that just a bit more than necessary.
Today, I was the recipient of grace, from a believer who is truly living out the concept of “love one another, as I have loved you.” That lesson sinks clear to the depths of my soul. Makes me want to be a better person.
I think that’s how we’re supposed to be doing life.