Sunday, November 29, 2009

Asking and Caring


Photobucket Image by Speigel16

Have you ever asked that question that many people take for granted? Yes, the one for which we only expect a cursory answer. You know the one I mean? It rolls off our lips like winning coins coming out of a slot machine. The question is "How are you?"

Most of the time the answer is a one-word or less fly-by: "Fine," "Ok," "Lousy," or something of that nature. I have one online friend, who when I ask that question goes into great detail. Now, I know to expect this, but I'm also interested in how this friend really is doing at the moment. We've talked online and sometimes on the phone quite a number of times, so I know the situation.

I've often given detailed answers to this question, because sometimes a simple answer won't do and life (mine or anyone else's) can be complicated, rather than requiring a simple answer. If I didn't care about how my friends are, I wouldn't ask. Fortunately, I mostly have the time to listen to this friend and we can discuss what's happening in both our lives in detail. Maybe we can't help solve any situations at the time, but sometimes just talking things out and having someone listen helps.

I know when I was going through the challenging times where nothing appeared simple, I was very grateful for those who listened to me. I was also grateful they encouraged me to adopt a positive attitude no matter what events I was experiencing. Maybe friends will get tired of hearing you talk about the same thing if it goes on for too long (well, some aren't like this), but one sure thing is that God never tires of listening to us. And, He not only listens, He makes a way where there is none. How do I know this is true? Because it happens in my life over and over again.

So, next time you (or I) ask someone "How are you?" be prepared for an honest answer.

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