Last Thursday I enjoyed a cup of coffee with an old friend. When I say ‘friend’, she is one of those people who I feel I have got to know better in the years since we have lived on different continents than we ever knew each before. i enjoyed reading her blog when she kept one, and I know she dips into mine occasionally. A shared interest in living authentically and a shared call to spiritual direction has meant that we have fundamentals in common. And so, the conversation we shared on Thursday was probably at a different level to any we have had before.
In the conversation she indicated that she had noticed a physical change in me that was indicative of an interior shift (my words, not hers! She was far more eloquent!) I have one other close friend who can read my physical being with similar accuracy. In that conversation I suddenly realized that that capacity to read another’s demeanor is a real gift, and one I do not have.
I am a reasonably sensitive person and I do pick up the sense of where people are and their level of comfort, and I know that my skill is probably more refined than many people. But this gift which is shared by these two friends of mine is in a whole other ballpark. It is an order of magnitude different.
I suspect neither of them have noticed what a rare gift they carry. As with most people who have a true gift of this nature, they probably cannot imagine what it is to live without it. I can refine my own skill, and practice it, but I will never view people as they do.
It is a great reminder that there are just different gifts in the world. For me, the challenge is to identify and to celebrate my own giftedness. To be grateful for the complex blend of gifts I have been given. And to remember that other people simply don’t see the world in quite the same way that I do!