How often do we think we need to suffer in silence? Why do we assume no one cares or wants to hear about what’s going on in our lives?
I think it’s because Christians in general have put each other on a pedestal, thinking that we shouldn’t have problems, and if we do, we’re not “spiritual” enough. This is especially true of how we view our pastors.
We struggle alone because we don’t want anyone to think we’re not perfect, that we don’t have our lives in order. That we don’t have enough faith or whatever.
We want to look perfect, and from the outside we can achieve this illusion, but we all have issues. And appearances are deceiving. The worst criminals probably look like your average business person.
My husband and I have long conjectured that professional assassins — killers for hire — probably look like us, act like us, live like us. Why? Because they do their job with precision, but at the end of the day, they go home and live life. Maybe he/she doesn’t have a spouse or family, but neither I nor you would be able to pick them out from your average neighbor.
We all ask people in church, at a restaurant, in Walmart, “How are you?” But do we really want to know the answer? And when we’re asked, do we tell the truth?
My answer. Sometimes I do want to know how someone is. I want to be able to pray for her (hims too, but for ease I’ll just use her/she), for the struggles she is going through. When I answer the question, I lie a lot. Because I doubt people’s sincerity in asking. When I see someone is truly wanting to know, I try to tell the truth in as short an answer as possible.
Lately, a lot of people have been asking me how I am. My answer? I’m getting along. Some days are better than others.
And yet, when someone asked me the other day, I said I was fine. I lied. In church. Why? Because the person didn’t want to know. Before I even started to answer, she had already turned her attention to something else. And so I lied. 🙁 I murmured what this person wanted to hear.
And maybe that’s why we suffer in silence, because no one takes the time to LISTEN anymore. We’re always in a hurry DOING something instead of BEING the hands and feet of Jesus.
This is aimed at myself probably more than toward you (in general, no one specific). I’m just as guilty as the next person. But I want to make a concerted effort in the next weeks, months, years to SEE people’s hurts, to pray for them, to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15 ESV)
So today, while you go about your business, remind yourself to ask how people are with sincerity. Or better yet, change the question.
How can I pray for you today?
And then wait for the answer.
I’m waiting for you… how can I pray for you today?