the weblog of Alan Knox

How are you?

Posted by on Mar 7, 2007 in community, edification, fellowship | 6 comments

Phil, one of the contributors to “Chronicles of the Way“, has written a post called “No Big Deal, just a better deal!” He examines what it means to be yourself with other believers. He makes the following observation:

The churches I grew up in and attended as an adult usually consisted of hollow ” how are you’s” and quick greetings in a hallway somewhere. No one really knew what was going on in anyones life. We were reluctant to share our pains and our victories for fear of judgement by others. “Church” was usually quite painful and uncomfortable for the most part. It’s like when you put on the suit, you also put on another person. The person you wanted the outside world to see. Not everyone in every church made me feel this way, but most did.

I am learning to be myself with the church. One of the greatest things that has happened to me recently is when someone asked me how I was doing. Without thinking, I said, “I’m okay.” They replied, “No you’re not. Something is wrong.”

Isn’t it amazing when we begin to know one another in such a way that we can tell when everything is not “okay”. I’m learning to respond truthfully when I’m sick, or sad, or overwhelmed, or disappointed, or encouraged… Some may not understand. Some may not care. But, others truly want to know and will love me anyway.

Now, can I care about others who are not “okay”?


6 Comments

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  1. 3-7-2007

    Isn’t it amazing when we begin to know one another in such a way that we can tell when everything is not “okay”

    Not only that, but that they cared enough to find out how you really were.

    How many times have I known the “okay” or “fine” answer wasn’t the truth, but didn’t care enough to press and find out for real??

    Ouch. That was convicting.

  2. 3-7-2007

    Steve,

    Yes, it did encourage me to know that this person cared enough not to accept “okay” for an answer. I’m in the same boat as you – convicted!

    -Alan

  3. 3-7-2007

    Alan -

    I have always been an honest, open and transparent person … sometimes to a fault. But the openess we had in my family growing up has helped me tremendously to not care what men think of me, only what God thinks of me, in regards to when I’m not “okay”. I am thankful for that.

    Unfortunately, as we all know all too well, this is not a common occurence in churches today. I posted that song by Casting Crowns not too long ago – Stained Glass Masquerade. I think it brilliantly describes the state of our churches today, unfortunately.

    Brandon and I try very hard to be real, to be genuine and to encourage others to be the same. People generally find it odd at first (given their church history), but as they get to know us I think they find it refreshing.

    ~Heather

  4. 3-7-2007

    Heather,

    For me, it is a great joy to interact with people who are honest, open, and transparent. However, it is not as easy for me to be honest, open, and transparent. Thank you for being an example for me and the others here.

    -Alan

  5. 3-8-2007

    Once when I brought up the whole hiding how you are really doing thing to the church (and I referred to Adam and Eve hiding from God after they sinned and how that can hinder their pursuit toward godliness), this was what people shared with me afterward:

    What about when you have chronic pain or it seems like you have been wrestling with an issue forever? Most people I know end up avoiding talking about it because they desire contentment and don’t want to be complaining or they just don’t want to dwell on it all the time.

  6. 3-8-2007

    Renata,

    Thanks for sharing the responses that you heard. I don’t know if it is the particular time that you are referring to, but I remember you talking about this one Sunday morning. What you said was very challenging to me, and it is part of the reason that I have been thinking about this. So, thank you again for speaking up!

    -Alan