Becoming a Sage

Author and counselor Chris Bruno shares what it means to become a “sage” – recovering exiled parts of ourselves, gleaning the wisdom from our stories, and sharing that wisdom generatively with others. Wherever you are along your life journey, we think you’ll find a new perspective in this episode that can help you examine your story and your own passage into the role of sage.

About Our Guest:

Chris Bruno is the co-founder and CEO of Restoration Project and the founder of ReStory Counseling. He has journeyed with hundreds of men throughout all seasons of life, and now finds himself on the precipice of his own second half. He is the author of Man Maker Project and Brotherhood Primer, and speaks and teaches regularly about intentional fathering. His wife, Beth, is the author of A Voice Becoming, and together they seek to live life “out loud” as they navigate parenting, marriage, and following God. You can find Restoration Project on Instagram and Facebook.

Chris Bruno’s most recent book, Sage: A Man’s Guide Into His Second Passage is available on Amazon  and was reviewed by Dan Allender: 
“Most people either fail to dream of being a Sage or assume it is beyond the grasp of mere mortals. Chris Bruno, a wise, kind, and humble man, has invited us to walk with wisdom as we return to our younger selves, blessing the hardships and losses that have formed us as men. Chris offers a North Star vision of how a man becomes a Sage. You will find this brilliant book a trustworthy compass to guide you through the wilds of aging.”  — Dan B. Allender, PhD


Episode Transcript:

Dan: Chris Bruno. It is such a delight to be with you. And if people knew what we’ve had to go through now, several attempts at creating this podcast together, I just have to say that there are forces in the universe that do not want us. So let me introduce you. Chris Bruno is a therapist, the founder of ReStory counseling, in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the co-founder of Restoration Project, A ministry to men, to boys, but frankly to all human beings who know, to some degree they’re not home and know something about the reality of having to tend to younger parts that feel exiled and have, shall we say, a long but sweet possible journey to come back home. So, Chris, welcome and let’s, let’s hope this time, all our efforts to get this into some form, are not failed by both technology and my own incompetence. Welcome. How’s that for a beginning.

Chris: That’s wonderful, Dan. It is great to be with you. And thanks for the continued efforts. It has been a battlefield to get this to work. So may God be with us in the conversation.

Dan: Yes, indeed. It’s almost like, you know, I’m gonna look up occasionally to see if there’s a meteor because it has felt like truly something does not want us to be able to get this. But let me just start to say that one of the things I hope for from our time is that folks will have a sense that, oh, whether you’re young or old, male or female, that this particular new book that you’ve written, “Sage: A Man’s Guide Into His Second Passage”, will nuance at the beginning, because it sounds like it’s only for men and only for men in middle age. But one of the things that, at least in our first attempt to record that I wanted you to engage is, I’m not in my, middle age. I’m in the category that would be called elderly. And in that I found so much resonance, so much goodness, and particularly so much opportunity for me to continue to grow. And at least in our last conversation, you were saying that even some of the men you have been working with, much younger than what we would normally think of as middle aged 35, 55, 60, have had that same level of, Oh, this is inviting me to something I so desperately need. So give us a sense of what the book is inviting us to, and why you, I hope you concur. This is, this is good for anyone sort of in the ages of like, 5 to about 95

Chris: Yeah. So the focus of my work, Dan, and Restoration Project is really aimed at men and with men. And I never want to be exclusionary in that because I feel like the work, that we’re attempting to do with men and calling men to do is actually the work of what it means to be a, a member of the human race. And so, as I set out the thoughts that I did in this book with my primary audience in mind, it was really designed to be more of a vision, and a roadmap to get towards a vision, for all of us as humans. What does it mean for us to come, as you mentioned before, coming home to ourselves is, it begins at the moment that we are exiled. And those, those moments occur all the way, you know, throughout our lives, primarily in the work that you and I have done in areas of family of origin, and those earliest, moments of trauma and tragedy, those mark us and set us on a trajectory to need to, to find home from really the beginning of our lives. So whether we are five or 95, uh, it does take someone who has some ability to reflect, an ability to engage with some level of awareness of their own lives and story to intentionally make some movement in this direction. And I don’t think that happens when you’re five years old, or even when you’re 15 may be beginning at the age of 25 and you start, you know, 35. But, it does need to begin certainly there. And much of the work, you know, as we both know, it continues on as long as we are alive, that we never fully come home on this earth because this earth is no longer the Eden that was designed to be. And so home ultimately is when we enter the kingdom fully face to face with God. So it is a journey.

Dan: An important phrase that you use in the book is that you cannot enter in one sense the second phase, of life until you have, in some sense completed the first. And I know from your wise world view that one never fully completes anything. But there is a kind of completion to that first portion, of our journey. I’d love for you to put words to what is, what do we need to complete in the first to be able to move to the second? And then what does the second involve?

Chris: Yeah. So I, in the book, I walk through several different stages of life. And again, it is ubiquitous for all humans. I identify it more specifically with language for men. And it feels like the first stage, the first half of our lives, if you will, is really where we are. We’re establishing our domain. We’re, you know, we’re fighting battles. We’re conquering hills. We’re building careers in kingdoms and families and all of that kind of stuff. And that is that beginning kinda ramp up to the beginning, of our lives. And in that portion of our lives, we need to attend to the practicals and logistics of establishing ourselves as adults in the world. And when we come to a place in that adulthood where we recognize the ways that we have survived thus far, no longer serve us, or they’ve become thin or inaccessible to us, or the survivals the techniques that we’ve employed, somehow, we recognize that they are actually perpetuating harm. That our stories are leaking either onto ourselves, our children, our spouses or communities. That is the season of that middle ground, that middle age midlife, if you will, where we begin to go, Huh, maybe, maybe there are some other ways of it of existing on this earth. Then I have thus far employed, so that I think is where the middle stage begins. And, and just as it is a journey to get to, adulthood, it is a journey to get to, you know, into the second stage too. It’s not a, you know, one day you wake up and you’ve crossed the threshold. It is a multi-year, if not multi decade journey, uh, to cross that threshold into the second half.

Dan: Yeah. Well, I would love for you to be able to say, what have you learned? Not just in writing the book, because most of us write to find out, it isn’t that we know and therefore offer. It is, we may have a sense of what we’re getting ourselves into. I’ll speak for myself. Everything I’ve written has had that element of, I know it’s important, but I’m not sure yet what, what I’m meant to engage with regard. And I would suspect that may be somewhat true for you. So what did you discover as you wrote?

Chris: So many things? Far too many for us to, to dive into? I mean, I feel like in the, when I turned 40, in those first couple years of being 40 some friends, and I took this, epic trip to Scotland together as a bunch of, you know, 41, 42, 43 year old men. And it was somewhat of an awakening for me to go, Hey, there’s, there’s some parts of my life and some parts of my heart that as I intentionally consider, what is the next season of life, I need to really attend to. So I think some of what I learned, honestly, is how far I have yet to go, how much more work I need to do, how many more parts of me are still living in exile and living as orphans, and I need to, to do the work of really attending to those little boys that still live inside of me. So I think that is the thing. And then absolutely, writing the book was not for the, not for the audience, not for the public. It was more definitely for me, going, What am I doing and where am I going, and what is my hope?

Dan: And in that there’s a comment that you make as well, that no boy is meant to make this transition alone, unguided, in some sense, thrown into the wilderness to find his way out. And yet, I would say that’s kind of the experience that I know to be true for me. And I would suspect for you. So you have been able to enter what you were not offered and yet offering to us what you have gained. And so I would love to hear how, how you have tended to the boy.

Chris: Yeah. Well, so this is, I call this the second passage because I think especially again in my work with men, there is a, there is a massive Grand Canyon gap in our society where, of what you just named of. We do not do well in the rights of passage process for boys or for girls. And again, because my focus is on, is on men, that process of boy becoming a man, I would consider that the first passage. And, like you, I did not have that in my life. And yet, I woke up one day holding in my hands a little boy that made me a father. Then my son that I’m like, I do not want to do with him what was done with me. And as he, as he grew into those teenage years, I looked around and I was like, Hey, I need to both be intentional about this. And then at that point in my life, also used writing as a way of discovery of what I wanted to do with him. And that was my first book, Man Maker Project for, for which he wrote The Forward. And, and it was this, the, the passage of the, the, the Boy and to Man, I feel like in, in writing Sage and is coming to this, this place in my life, I realized it wasn’t just the one passage of boy to man. Now it is the man back to the boy and bringing that boy home as we’ve been talking about. And that is a, that is another journey. So for me, and you, and I’ve talked about this before, it is, as I fathered my son, though I had not been fathered in the fathering process of what happened between me and my son, and then also between me and my daughters, fathered me as well. There was a reverberation process of how what I was able to bring to him and to, to them, also fathered some parts of me that had yet been unfathered. And so that was, that was that journey for me. Uh, and still now as a, as a moving, I’m not there, I am not a sage. As I’m moving towards sage, uh, there is something in me that I hope will be a reverberation process as well.

Dan: Well, we’ll come back to that sentence, because I want to at least, suggest you may not be accurate, but I wanna wait on that. To then say, well, what have you come to tend to with regard to that boy that needed to be brought back home?

Chris: Yeah. You know, there’s so many places in my life and in my story that over time I have done a lot of work with and, and tended to. And I feel like, you know, a great example for me recently has been a moment that I came to, in the car, in a parking lot at a grocery store when I was about five years old. And this is one moment that represents many moments over the course of my life. But I was, to give some context to my family of origin, I was born into a family, the second child of only two. My older sister is five years older than I am, and she is both, pretty severely mentally and physically disabled to the degree that she still operates at, at about a one-year-old level, and has a full-time caregiver. And, God bless my mom and my dad, who in the, you know, this was in the late sixties, early seventies where institutionalization was kind of the norm for people with the severe disabilities. They chose to keep her home. And you know, to tend to her and care for her, which, yes, God bless them in their generous, their generosity towards her. And what it meant for me when I came along, that five years later, was the context of chaos. It was a context of constant tending to her needs. And I learned, taught as an infant when I learned how to crawl. I taught her how to crawl when I learned how to walk. I taught her my five year old, older, you know, sibling. I taught her how to walk. And that has been the nature of our relationship for the last 50 years. And so to come back to the context of the car in the parking lot I was in, I remember having this minivan, which, was a white minivan with that faux wood paneling on the side of it and, you know, back in the seventies, and…

Dan: Not a good image. Not a good image.

Chris: Yeah. Well, yes, for many reasons. And they’re back in for whatever reason. I don’t know why. But my mother, my father worked full-time, and so she was our full-time caregiver. And so, again, God bless her for her attempts to care for us in ways that no woman should ever have to. But she took us to the grocery store because we needed groceries. And it was always a challenge. It was a day long experience of what it need to get us into the car and tend all the needs. And then get into the grocery store, find the groceries, and then check out and get, get home. I remember this one particular day, we were at the grocery store and, almost done shopping, which, was remarkable for the amount of food that we had gathered in the grocery cart. But my sister, she has many different disorders that go along with her disability, including a sensory integration disorder, OCD, she has, some, some phobias and fears that, that just wreck her. And so there was something, and I don’t remember what it was, I was five, but there was something that set her off. And when she, you know, would be set off, she would scream and yell and throw things and, hit and, and just make a huge kind of ordeal in public. And of course, there was massive amounts of fear and shame and gawkers and all kinds of things to where we had to abandon the cart. And, I walked alongside of my mom as she carried my sister out. And, and we just had to make it to the, you know, the sanctuary of the car, just to try to find some, some semblance of privacy once again, and, calm. And I remember sitting in that bench seat of the, the back of the, the van there and my mother was in the driver’s seat, and my sister was in the passenger seat. And, both of them were still in an uproar, still screaming. My sister, could not contain or collect herself, could not regulate. And then my mother also, as a result, was just full of shame and full of exhaustion and could not regulate herself. And I remember reaching up to, put my hand on both my mother and my sister’s shoulders from the back seat, and, found in that space as a five year old, kind of a, an exiled pathway towards containment for the two of them, which became a role that I learned.

Dan: Yeah. And my guess, let me ask, it may not have been instantaneous, but the touch on both of their shoulders had to bring some level of comfort to both and therefore brought a quieting.

Chris: Oh, for sure. And it became, it became kind of a cornerstone of relationship between the two of us to the degree that last week I was with my sister, and we were in a hospital for a procedure for her where she needed to be fully anesthetized. And there I was holding her hand next to the bed as she, as the anesthetic took hold.

Dan: And if I can just hold this with you for a moment, it, it’s so honorable. It is such a gift of righteousness, and it is such a deep violation of a five year old boy to have to be, the hippocampus, soothing two different people’s amygdalas. And to have that intersection of so much shame from what occurred, to also so much power, to bring change, and with what I would’ve assume in the moment, at least not a lot of attunement to the cost you are having to suffer.

Chris: Yes. A hundred percent.

Dan: Is that a fair reading?

Chris: Yes, a hundred percent.

Dan: So you can give, but the likelihood of receiving is null and in that, uh, again, part of the, part of the complication, in even engaging this story is a part of me wants to scream at your mom, but again, you have been so gracious to name, there is a real ferocity of goodness to have chosen that. And yet like any human being, such a failure of engaging what’s happening for the five year old soul.

Chris: Yes. Oh, I have been to the places of screaming for sure. So I, I have visited those places and I have revisited the places where, where that power is known and it is both good and it’s intoxicating, and it is, good and it is powerful. And it is in that place stand that as I’ve done some of the work and continue to do some of the work. I don’t wanna say that it’s done, but as I am doing the work of tending to that boy, I discovered in this journey the last several years of, he needs to come home to someone, and no one is coming for him.

Dan: That’s so agonizing. And to say, you are the presence, your face is the presence of Jesus to that boy. And Jesus has in so many ways, you, you could say Jesus could circumvent you, but to do that would be to, in some sense, to dishonor the man that you are to now tend to the boy that needs your wisdom and strength and kindness to come home

Chris: Well and release that, that now, can he offer that comfort now, like I try, attempted to do last week, not from a place of demand, not from a place of misattunement, but can I do so in attunement to my sister last week in my self attuning to that boy and offer it from a place of, of release and generosity rather than demand that that’s a different space?

Dan: Well, you, you care for her most recently could not be as it was without having gone back to tend and invite back. So at least a few sentences, what does it mean for you to have invited that boy back home?

Chris: I feel like it’s, you mentioned it, it is to bring the face of Jesus in my own face, and that yes, he could and does circumvent at times. And yet it is, it is super powerful to, for me now as a man, to sit with that boy on the bench seat of that minivan and to, to touch his hands that are touching their shoulders and to, and to offer hands to his shoulders as well, because he was not, they were not the only two dysregulated people in that car. He was as well. And up until someone else can be in that van with him, my, you know, myself, he will, he will remain dysregulated until I can do that with him. So that is what I mean by bringing him home. And then, and then when he does feel the dysregulation of himself again, he has a place to go.

Dan: Well, and again, we are using language that could be viewed as metaphoric, and it is to some degree, but the fact is that neurologically, you hold a constellation of neuronic configurations that see that boy, hear that boy. And what sounds maybe weird to a few, if they’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, probably not too far weird, but you feel that boy and that boy actually has language, has the ability to speak. Now again, it’s in the context of imagination, yet it is imagination that is neurotically involved. So there is a sense in which this notion of going back to two, it’s, it’s actually a, going into the, the realities of what you would’ve become. And I just have to argue pretty quickly, you are an amazingly stable, competent, and good man. And yet what that boy had to suffer for years in being that responsible. It’s just a loss of so much potential of creativity, playfulness, wildness. And my sense is that as I have seen your work, your writing, your life, there’s a whole lot more wildness than what there used to be.

Chris: Yes. Well, that boy now owns a jeep and lives in Colorado. So, screw the minivan.

Dan: Especially with that sucky wood to fake paneling

Chris: Yes. That was so disgusting. Whoever thought that up, If you’re listening, I’m sorry. It was not a good idea.

Dan: So, so let me go back to a category that, you, you invited me to differ with. I wanna read a section out of your fabulous book, to describe a sage. This comes on page 56. If anyone is particularly interested in the actual page number, “The wise sage emerges when a boy… A man, steps from the story of his life. Looking back over the seasons he has lived, the relationships he has had the battle, he has fought the dark valleys and dried deserts, he has traversed, and the domains he has ruled and sees it all with a posture of curiosity, generosity, deep contentedness. The sage lives as a generative person, drawing from the abundance of his inner life that no longer needs to prove itself as dominant or superior.” First of all, just such good truth and so well written. And then you wanna say to me, you’re not a sage?

Chris: I want to say that the journey, I am at the front end of this journey. And that though there may be portions that I do know in those realms, there are portions far, far faster portions that I don’t know, which for some might feel hopeless, like, Oh my goodness. And, and yet for me, it feels hopeful because I feel like for the, for the healing that I have known thus far, if that is only merely a portion of what is available, then, then my hope of in the gospel is even deeper than, than I could have imagined. So that’s where I feel like, yes, you know, and Dan, as a 16 year old, there were some sages, who showed up in my life, some real life sages, and then also sages, I found in fiction literature that met me in a place, in a season of that boy’s life that desperately needed that kind of, presence, that generative presence. And so, since 16 years old, my sights have been set on becoming a sage. And I continue to long to become one.

Dan: Well, and the way you’re naming this, sage is a process, but there is a clarity, even as you say that even at 16, there was something, and I’m assuming from a past discussion, that Gandolf, for example, was seen to be not only just intriguing, but somebody you would like to be like. And just that alone, just to say out loud, you know, one will never become a sage without intentionality, without that sense of, I want this. And, you know, I think how often, many of the men that I am privileged to know and work with, the category of sage wouldn’t even be at the top 50 words that they would use as to who they’d like to become. And that is so troubling, because I’m not sure there is a higher calling for a man or a woman than to have that sagacity. The, not just knowledge, but wisdom and wisdom that’s translated into our capacity, not just to help others, but to live well. So as we come back to this question, I’m not sure anyone can name themselves to be a sage, but you are a sage, and I know I and many others have named you, as a very wise man, and certainly in this book, certainly in your work, but in your life, a man to be emulated, a man to be. Again, this sounds a little, maybe odd, but a man to be studied in order for us to become more like, And I’m, I’m wondering what you do with the fact that many have named you a sage.

Chris: I think where I would sit with that, Dan, is merely a simple thank you.

Dan: And I receive that and would come back to there’s a cost for being sacious. There’s a cost to actually even acknowledging what the community, has named about you. And, you know, when you think about what the cost has been for you and is for you, and will be for you, help us understand why there’s a bit of reluctance to name yourself as a sage.

Chris: I have always been reluctant to sit in a seat that feels worthy of none other than those that I, you know, most admire. And Dan, I do recognize that as I continue to age that slowly those seats will become vacant and others will need to occupy them and so for me, just the… I watch. I see, and I love how you say that there is a cost to the wisdom sagacity of a person. And I’m hesitant honestly, to step into fully owning that. Fully owning what it does cost. So I am at the stage in my life now, in my own family, where I am fathering my father. I am mothering my mother, and I am, you know, tending to my sister. So there is, there is no one in those seats any longer in my extended, you know, relatives, and the, the cost is large.

Dan: Well, and again, if I can knock on this door just a little bit longer to just to be able to say, what was the cost for that five year old boy to be more mature, generally speaking, than his parents?

Chris: Oh, it was, it was paramount. It was significant. It was, it has, in all throughout my adulthood, he has been operating from the backseat of that minivan with his hands on thousands of shoulders. And so some of my work in becoming a sage is to release him from the backseat, which then turns him back into and sitting in a different seat. So, it’s a bind in a way. And also, giving him the space to play and giving him the space to be, and giving him the, I said the word release before, to release him from the requirement of putting his hand on those shoulders and offer him the freedom to make the choice to do so or to not do so.

Dan: And again, I just feel the agony for your mother and, and by extension for your father, yet in that, the question of, and did they engage in some sense, the wretched choice they were making? And I, no one should ever have to choose this is, Styron’s novel Sophie’s Choice, which is one of the most agonizing novels of a mother having to choose because a gestapo officer forces her to make a choice which child essentially will die. And the consequences of being in that, the ramifications for that person, for that child who lives, for, well, all those who are affected by this tragedy, again, maybe that’s sounding a bit more hyperbolic, but it’s not too far to say your mom, at least in certain situations, made a choice as to who would live and who would not. And your ability to hold sorrow, shame, essentially death and your own death, had to create for you a kind of powerful emptiness, powerful, gifted, amazing, but so empty because no one’s attending to, the bind that you’re in.

Chris: And what I’ve seen in why I wanted to step into this work with regard to sage, is that when we step into these older seasons of life, we are kind of communally expected on some, to some degree, to have a level of wisdom that unless we do the work of tending to these parts of us, we actually will not have. To where now, instead of wisdom, mostly all we have is information and advice, which that is why we have YouTube. What we need. What, Okay, what we need is, what we need are sage men and sage women who have that generous spaciousness, that hospitality, where they’ve come home to themselves so that they can make space for others to come home as well. And, if we do not, if we do not intend to become those sages, we will miss the mark, for sure. Because it just doesn’t happen. We just get old. And to come back to something that you said earlier, like the, the construct of a sage is not a new one. You know, there’s history is full of sages, the Bible is full of sages, and actually to be a sage, you know, the, the language in the scriptures is to become an elder. And, and that was from the moment a child was born, the, desired destiny was to become an elder in the community. It was not to become a mother or a father, or a, you know, business owner or whatever, or even a king. It was to become the sage, the elder in the community. And we’ve lost our way to that. And, and part of my, my hope in this work was to resurrect an awareness that the ultimate destination of humanity is to that space of, of wisdom and sage.

Dan: Indeed. And to go back to again, the story of the bind in the car, there isn’t an answer. There isn’t like a right way to have done this versus your mom or dad did the wrong way. It’s that, yeah. In being caught in the heartache, deep heartache of the fall, we’re all in a bind in some form. And in that bind, whether it be, again, because of racial trauma or because of economic deprivation and or because of locale in the country that did not have medical care in the same way, no one is in a world where it works. And wisdom isn’t a, I’ll tell you how to make it work. It’s how to become not primarily how to do, not to wanna to severely separate those two realities. But you’re talking about the becoming of a different man who could still hold shoulders, but without the pressure, demand, and misuse of power. That was such a part, of your growing as a boy.

Chris: I think the older that I get, and the more I move into the sage, the more free I hope to be from the binds that have kept me. And I feel like stepping into that, you know, the, the bind that you’re naming in the backseat of that car is only one of about, you know, 25 that that five year old was, was trying to manage and until he is free from the binds, he cannot be free to fully come home and be in relationship an, you know, unfettered relationship.

Dan: So before we end, we’re not gonna end quickly, but before we end, for the women who are hearing this, who are saying, What do I do? I want my husband to hear this podcast, but if I do, he’s gonna be defensive again. I’m not gonna try and create a scenario as much as, when you work with women with regard to these issues, be it their sons, be it their fathers, be it their husbands, what do you want for them to hear?

Chris: I think the first thing I want women to hear is a level of gratitude from me to them for all that you have held. And I hear, I hear, and even your question, Dan, the women saying those things, I want my husband, I want my son. I want my son-in-law. I want my brother, my uncle, you, you have born, so much, pain and hurt and trauma and weight on behalf of the men in your life and so both thank you. And I’m sorry, second to that, I think the invitation that you offer to the men in your life is, is one, framed in a place of I see you and I see who you are, versus I see you and I see who you’re not. I feel like when we respond to, to people, like, I respond to someone casting a vision far more than I respond to someone offering a correction. And if in, I think I see that in my kids, I see that in myself. I see that everywhere. And so if there is someone that you have a heart for and you’re, you know, broken-hearted for or have a desire for, it is, I see, I see behind your eyes the man that God designed you to be. And my hope is that you would become more of who he is, not because I don’t like who you are now, but there’s, there is more glory and goodness in you than you remember. And so, to cast a vision for who he, who he is, and who he is becoming versus who he is not, and who you are afraid of him always being.

Dan: And the idea that, look, every human being by virtue of being made in the image of God bears a beauty that is staggering. And how that’s been lived out, like the heartache of your communal offering of peace at your own deprivation. There’s something very heartbreaking. But also it would’ve deprived other people, your wife in particular, from being able to give to you because you don’t need, you don’t, you’re not going to risk another time of not being heard. So for her to not see there is brilliance and beauty, even in the gifts that you give that come from such heartache, yet I want more for you, which in that sense is a stepping into the particularity of brokenness. And that is every style of relating has both beauty and brokenness. Can we, in one sense, be captured before we’re a critic? Because in being captured, we become one who invites rather than criticizes. Yes. Is that a fair way of putting what you put it?

Chris: Oh, absolutely. Oh, absolutely. And I, and I also hear Dan, the women that feel that maybe that is a bridge too far that to offer that kind of hope and vision on behalf of the men in your life, for whatever reason, whatever stories you are holding, I would say, can that first be a place that you offer that hope to yourself? Where, where, where are the little girls that are in your proverbial minivans? Where are the, the, the younger women that you can attend to that, you know, the harm that you’ve experienced, or it feels like the brokenness that you’ve experienced in relationship with men where, where has that begun and where, what, what do you still hold?

Dan: Well? And that sense of, if you want your spouse to become a sage do you want to be one? Yes. And irrespective of what they choose, of course, it will be so much more egregiously difficult if one doesn’t, if one’s heart is nothing more than, I wanna make a lot of money. I wanna retire, I wanna play golf, I don’t want conflict. I don’t wanna engage the reality of where God shows God’s self too. And that’s in the midst of brokenness and darkness. I just want comfort, convenience, and control. Get it. That’s not the call of a sage. So I think that process has to be one in which, why are you asking for the other to be what it is you have not invested your own heart to become. That is not indictment. It’s back to too often we live as a couple without us both aspiring.And here’s a simple phrase. How often do you pray that you might become wiser and, and actually grow to be a sage? I think one of the things for us, for Becky and I, is we went through your book together. There were just a couple points where there was this look in her eye like, are you, you gonna attend to this and I’m like, don’t go there. No, I’m reading this. I’m reading this for a podcast. And she’s like, yes, but no, you’re not, you want more, more you, you love and respect Chris. You want more. And I’m like, Damn it. No, I don’t. Yes, I do. Oh, here we go again. So that’s, that’s at least the framework to be able to say, you are a sage and you are becoming a sage. And in that you’re inviting all of us to indeed, invest in a rescue mission, a return to the van not just to snatch him out, because he’s not in the presence of evil. He’s in the presence of people who have failed. Nonetheless, he needs tending to, and it’s very apparent that he is with you. And I say that about Jesus, and I say that about that little boy and you, the man this age. So thank you, Chris. Thank you for the invitation to us all.

Chris: Yes, well, thank you, Dan. It’s been great to be with you today.