Nancy was talking with a good friend of mine the other day and he asked if my blog was an accurate reflection of how I am doing as we walk this journey.
It was a good question. A question which demonstrated a level of concern and care for both me and my family. Many of us have “put on a strong front” for others in the face of difficult times. We have all had someone tell us they were doing “fine”, or “good” when deep in our hearts we sensed there was more, much more to their reality. Caring people have the desire and ability to see past the simple answers and to give permission for people to share the truth of their reality. In those moments of sharing truth and reality God works and moves in amazing ways.
I am reminded of one of my dear friends. Byron was much older than I was. He had recently lost his wife and was in a less than healthy place. Life was not easy, the grief he carried was a heavy burden and it shaped much of his reality as he journeyed through life. One Sunday morning I passed Byron in the hallway. I knew little of who he was at this point in our relationship. I was aware of his story and respected him but we were not the good friends we came to be. I asked the question many of us ask, “Hello Byron, how are you doing?” “Fine Pastor, how are you?” With a smile and a quick, “great, have a good day” I moved on down the hall. A few steps past Byron something did not feel right, Byron did not seem “fine”…he seemed sad and to be carrying a heavy burden. I went back and asked again, “Byron, how are you really doing?” With that we began a conversation that led to our deep friendship and much more. We stepped into the church nursery and Byron opened up about the realities of his life experience and the pain that was weighing heavy that afternoon. [Read more…]