I have found myself pondering that question quite a bit in these past few weeks. I hear questions such as "how are you," "how was your summer," or "how are the boys," and I wonder if that questioner actually wants to hear my response.
We have such a polite community that these questions are sort of expected. The answers are also expected. We expect to be asked these questions and also expect that the response will be volleyed back in as few words as possible.
There are times when I dread the question, the answers to them being too painful to come out without a few tears slipping out too. There are other times when I long for the questioner to stop walking long enough to hear my response, hoping to be seen even if for only a moment. In either case, there is pain for me, so I have trained myself to avoid the disappointment by answering over my shoulder as I hurry away or to deflect by giving a humorous one liner like “better above than below ground; at least I get another chance!”. I usually get away with this tactic, hiding in the busyness of daily life...
Jesus, however, doesn't let me off the hook so easily. When He asks me how I am, when He asks any of us how we are, He genuinely wants to know the answer. He is standing before us, waiting for our response. He wants us to bring our pain, our hurt, our joy, and our questions to Him. He asks how we are and patiently waits for us to answer. He lets us know that we matter to Him by giving us the time we need to respond to Him.
We can do this for each other. We can ask and wait for a response. We can stand patiently in front of someone, ask "how are you," and then deeply listen to her response. In doing so, we are showing her that she matters.
Welcome to our guest blogger: Ilana Shipe.
Click here and scroll down to read her bio.
JOIN WOMEN IN COMMUNITY THIS FALL
Get connected this fall with a women’s group. Groups start the week of September 10 and meet most days of the week during the school year, on and off campus. Small groups are the backbone of our women’s ministry. They’re great places to ask questions, grow in your faith and build connections with other women no matter your age or stage of life.
CLICK HERE for information and registration.