So How Are You Really?

Have you ever ran into a friend or an acquaintance and asked them "How's it going?" 

Of course, you have.  We all have.  And we typically expect the following kinds of answers:  "Good!" "Great!" "Never Better!" "Awesome!" 

But how many times have you asked someone that, and then suddenly they told you how they really felt?  

I've actually been that person from time to time.  

And what you quickly discover---as you are relating just how awful you might be feeling, and how challenging things are in your life---is that the person who inquired after your well-being is suddenly no longer wanting to hang out with you.  

Seriously, you can watch them visibly begin to shrink back and try to find a way to retreat, escape or otherwise retreat.  

When I see it happening to me, I don't blame the shrinking person.  When you're expecting "Never Better!" and get a darker, heavier and not at all breezy response, it can be a downer.   

Which is why most of us don't bother sharing what's really happening with us.   We don't want to be a downer.  We don't want to be a burden or to let anyone think we can't handle life's twists and turns.  

I read this poem by r.h. Sin recently, and it made my heart hurt for all of the times I've felt this way, and for all of the times I have made someone feel like they needed to hide.  
"gift of the broken" 
it hurts but I find myself
pretending to be fine
"I'm okay" has become my favorite lie
and my smile is usually a mask
that hides the truth in what I feel
I'll say nothing because
you'll think I'm weak
I'll say nothing and let
my silence speak...  
If you have been hiding your pain by wearing a mask, and simply saying, "I'm okay," "Never better!" or any number of platitudes designed to hold people at arm's length... I get it, and I'm sorry.  

Know this... there are people out there who want to listen.  There is a God all around you who wants you to experience the best of life in abundance.  There is a Spirit moving through you, connecting you to the world around you.  You are not alone.  

And when you need something to hold on to, hold on to this prophetic promise from the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, who relates God's ever-present love for God's people:  

Don’t panic. I’m with you.    There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.    I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

May it be that you feel the presence of God all around you, in you and through you today and every day.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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