Today I want to introduce you to Diane Lindstrom who blogs at Nice One Nana! To read this at source, click the title below.
Apparently, the two most common lies are “I’m fine” and “It’s OK.”
Casual conversation seems to trap us into a practiced script that alienates us from exposing the truth about who and how we really are.
It’s difficult to be honest with others because to do so, we need to believe that others care and that it will be safe to expose the restlessness in our spirits, without fear of rejection.
A young woman walked into the store last week and I greeted her with a friendly, “Hi – how ya’ doin’ today?”
She walked up to the counter, took my hand, looked me straight in the eye and asked,“Do you REALLY want to know because if you genuinely care, I’ll tell you about the sh–ty day I’ve had so far.”
It was quiet in the store — no customers around — and because I had engaged in conversations with this woman before, I decided to pursue the dialogue.
“I care, Susan. I care” was my response. I put down the pricing machine and postured myself in a way that said, “Talk to me. I’m listening.”
The young woman began to speak.
“So, here’s the story. My mouth says ‘I”m OK.’ My fingers text, ‘I’m fine’ but my heart says, ‘I’m broken.’ There’s a good chance I’m going to lose custody of my two kids because of my drinkin’ and my mother is giving up on me. I’m not fine. I’m not OK. I feel like I’m gonna’ die.”
With those words, the woman began to weep.
Oh, how humanity is groaning all around us. (Romans 8. 22,23)
The Holy Spirit breathed Jesus’ familiar words into my conscience.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me . . . I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. ~ Matthew 25:35-36,40
I have learned that it’s a costly choice to care.
Consciously allowing our hearts to break goes against not only our natural tendencies, but also against the grain of our culture. Myriad distractions lure us from embracing pain. There are so many places to hide so that we need not heed God’s beckoning to share in the suffering of impoverished people.
But the pain and empathy I felt moved me to action.
A person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. ~ James 2.24
I walked around the counter and held her in my arms. Thankfully, no other customers came into the store and I was resolved to be “all there” for this hurting woman. She didn’t need advise or exhortation. I couldn’t be the answer to her pain but I certainly could be “Jesus with skin on” for those precious minutes that she needed to be held.
The fog of a broken heart is a dark fog that slyly imprisons the soul.
If we can be a beacon of light that breaks through the fog, even for a short moment, it is good and honoring to God.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. ~ 2 Corinthians 4.7 NLT
Diane Lindstrom is a Canadian author who looks for Almighty God in the ordinariness of life. She has been blogging daily since 2010 and has recently published her first book, Sisters in the Son. She thrives on bike rides, laughter and homemade chai tea with lots of froth.