Thinking Out Loud

April 11, 2016

How Are You?

Daniel White turned off the car engine and just sat in his car for an extra 30 seconds before walking into the church. On entering the church lobby there was a rush of sound as children carrying Sunday School take-home papers ran through the lobby, a woman at a table spoke loudly selling tickets for an upcoming banquet, and people engaged in conversation while drinking coffee from the church’s new café, open five days a week besides Sunday.

Fred Smits, the director of mens ministry spied Daniel coming in and with a big smile and a firm handshake asked Daniel how he was doing.

“Fine;” Daniel replied. But Daniel was far from fine. As he said the words, he was looking at Fred and internally screaming, “Help me!” The mental scream was so loud he wondered how Fred could not hear it.

“Good to hear;” replied Fred before noticing another member of the mens group arriving through the same door.

There is better acting done in that church lobby than you’ll ever see on the great stages of London and New York. People saying things are ‘fine’ when inside they are screaming.

So what about Fred and Daniel? Is it up to people who are hurting to be more honest, or is it up to the people who ask the question to probe deeper, to spend more time beyond superficial greeting?

1 Comment »

  1. There is a responsibility on both parts. The church needs to offer something more than just a greeter who moves from one to another. A good way is to start and ==>promote<== a small group program. It can be a bible study that meets in homes or the church, a permanent church group such as the choir or drama/music teams or grass cutting groups or they can be temporary groups meant to last for a certain amount of time, like an advent or Lenten soup team, Christmas decor group and such. The fellow who screams on the inside must take a step toward a group if a group is appropriate and makes itself known to the fellow. Making it easy for people to join us a must but can be difficult. In short, it can be tough but in the long run it is well worth it.

    Comment by The Purging Lutheran — April 17, 2016 @ 10:01 pm

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