I was struck by a conversation I had with someone a little while ago. This man talked about how everyone around him was busy thinking (and suggesting) about doing this and that. So much was going on around him, but he himself was not in a good place. He was “out of sorts” with himself and with life. Accordingly, the only thing he wanted was to have someone say to him “How are you?”
How easily this can happen in churches. We can be busy serving the Lord and arranging activities and encouraging people to get involved. But all the while we are forgetting to stop and consider people. It is good to ponder here again as we did on Monday (see here), upon the conduct of our Lord. He never let “the programme” of establishing the Kingdom get in the way of caring for people.
Consider how on the day of His resurrection, a day which was pivotal to the whole establishing of the kingdom of God, He was not declaring His resurrection, but was caring for people. Accordingly we read: As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognising him. He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’ They stood still, their faces downcast (Luk. 24:15-17). Surely here our Lord sets us a great example. He goes up to people and asks them about tehir situation. In doing so he showed he cared. How about next Sunday in church prayerfully go up to someone and ask about their situation.
There are of course times when asking people how they are is a courtesy which which melds in with the flow of life and does not provoke any reaction of note. However, there are times when it has a massive impact. Somebody suddenly realises that someone cares is interested in them.
So let us beware of getting consumed in activity and forgetting people. Let us be on the look out for the hurting. And also let us be thoughtful about those who are not able to get out and are therefore very lonely. Think about each of these and how you can show your concern for them.
So “How are you?”