Monday, September 26, 2016
How Are You?
No. Really. How are you? Please know that I am not asking out of obligation but of a genuine interest in how you are doing! I really want to know.
I've noticed, more and more, that our society seems to operate at an arm's length. That some people, while having the best intentions, ask the above question not really wanting an answer. A real answer.
The kind of real answer that could be messy or uncomfortable for the person who asked the question in the first place.
An answer wrought with pain, hurt, isolation, rejection, or loneliness that may even cause fear in the questioner because it's now becoming a commitment.
A commitment to sit down and listen to someone who feels like their life is falling apart. Someone who might see you as their only source of hope, empathy and compassion.
Their only lifeline to getting through the pain and another day. So why do so many people ask the question if they are afraid of the answer? Why are people so afraid to ask the question in the first place?
In the Bible, there is a verse that talks about being in the trenches with another person during difficult times. It talks about weeping with those who weep, mourning with those who mourn but also rejoicing with those who rejoice or celebrate.
To have compassion and empathy. To walk in the other person's shoes, telling them that you are there for them. Truly there.
While their hurt may not be similar to anything that you have experienced, being hurt is universal. Shouldn't care and compassion be universal too?
Unfortunately, it isn't and there are many who choose to remain at arm's length. I am not one of those persons.
I know what it's like to hurt beyond the ability to describe the intensity and excruciating nature of the hurt.
I also know what it's like to be walked past by others who never ask how I am. That hurts too but I don't judge or condemn anyone who may not want to ask the question.
Instead, I make a conscious effort to seek out the lonely, the hurting, the rejected. I choose to stand in the trenches with those who are feeling pain beyond anything they've experienced before.
I choose to be there with them and pray for them when words fail me or my words fail to comfort them and, instead, I sit with them sharing in a dark piece of their world.
I choose to be a compassionate, empathetic, and caring woman because, for me, it's the right thing to do.
At one time, I was a child who loved to play in the mud. Okay, even as an adult, I still love to play in the mud. I don't mind being in the muck or getting dirty.
I don't run or shy away from the messy or the uncomfortable because I've been in the mud of life experiences and the hurt that can erupt out of some of those experiences.
Long ago, I used to be a very off-putting, cold-hearted, and evil-minded woman. Never again. By the grace and love of a good God, I have been saved from that.
As a result of that change, I want to walk alongside those who feel hopeless and frayed. I want to be someone who is never afraid to ask the question...how are you?
So, how are you, really? I want to know. I want to hear from you. Let's talk!