Historically, I have avoided board meetings like I’ve avoided scurvy and blood sausage. Anyone who knows me well will attest that I bring little value to them and they have brought such little value to me. I am usually brought in for humor or a brief anecdote and then allowed to leave. Everyone is the better for the decision.

…And all of this was true-until this last weekend. I was at the board meeting dinner for Truefaced on Friday evening, stayed the entire meeting on Saturday and hosted with Stacey a post-board meeting dinner at our home.

And it was one of the finest weekends of our lives.

In those 24 hours we heard Dave Dravecky and his wife Jan share about how their world has been turned upside down by these truths of the Original Good News they’ve read in our books over the last twelve months. In Bill and Grace Thrall’s backyard, I sat there stunned, humbled, grateful and overwhelmed. God was revealing shining hope we might otherwise never know until heaven. And there was food, dessert and beverage the likes of which I may not see for quite some time.

The next morning began with over an hour of each revealing some of our most real challenges, pain, loss, fear and devastation, mixed with brave hope, trust and deep encouragement. I heard God’s Word applied to real life by business executives and educators more deftly, confidently and articulately than I had ever preached. I watched Bruce McNicol lead a group of men and women into facing the most difficult financial season of our ministry history with grace, kindness, protection, honesty and vulnerability. No one had a personal agenda. There was no leveraging, no finger pointing, no blaming, no attack, no grandstanding. I watched great love, great beauty, faith and courage in the midst of incredible stress and cold, hard, immediate reality.

That evening fell on St. Patrick’s Day. Around our kitchen island, I gave a series of Irish toasts, in full accent, to these board members and their spouses as we each held a shot of fine Irish whiskey. I dreamt aloud that these truths of relational grace would become the majority voice in the land of my ancestors and all of theirs.

After dinner, around my fireplace, we circled our chairs and shared some more, because we were unwilling to leave. We were risking to speak to each other without masks. It was not the stuff easily tied in a bow. There was all manner of facing present sadness we would never have chosen. All manner of trusting God even amidst questions of how we’ve understood His sovereignty following unthinkable loss. No judgment, no correction, no fixing, no one-upmanship. Only safety, deep caring, a place to be known, a place to reveal what might stay hidden.

I sat there marveling at how this board was stunningly modeling the very truths we long to carry to this world. And in a season where my own confidence has been rocked, I felt the strength and confidence that comes from placing your heart under the protection of others.

And even as the night drew colder, between the fire and this sacred love, I needed no jacket.

…And I found myself thinking words I’d never before thought-“I deeply long for the next board meeting.”

This way of life, it is transferable. Grab this book and study guide. Find some you want to love and be loved by. Experience The Cure.

John-one of the three amigos, part of the ever-growing tribe of grace.