How many times do you have this conversation in a day?
Someone else: “Hey! How are you?”
You: “I’m doing well! How are you?”
Someone else: “Doing well.”
End of conversation.
Is this just a normal everyday polite interaction or potentially a normal everyday missed opportunity?
I just finished reading “The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp. The convicting takeaway for me was that we need to admit and share our brokenness with one another. This will help us begin the healing process and take part in the communion God longs for us to experience with Him and each other.
Ann Voskamp uses a seed as an example; it must be broken to grow.
But what does that look like day to day? How can we trust others with our brokenness? We will process the answer to the first question below, but as far as the second question, I don’t think the problem is trusting others with our brokenness, but rather trusting God.
Can we trust God to use what’s broken in us (relationships, health, self-image, dreams, fears) to glorify Him and draw others into a deeper understanding of His love? How do we start on this path?
I don’t think it means you need to share the deepest darkest caverns of your heart with the cashier when she asks how you are (but maybe it does! trust the Holy Spirit’s still small voice!), but what about an honest answer? If you are tired, stressed, giddy, worried, or relaxed, why not use a few more words to answer than just “good.” This vulnerability will open the door for the other person to be a little more real…to maybe see your brokenness and share a speck of hers.
When a close friend asks how you are, do you take that opportunity to open up? I know I so often go over my mental checklist first to decide if I can share my brokenness or not. It goes something like this, “how much time do we have here? Can she handle the truth? What will she think? Does she even want to listen? Did she mean it when she asked how I was?” And the result? Probably 90% of the time I answer those questions for her myself and respond with, “I’m doing well!”
There will be times where we just can’t go into the brokenness, but when you hear the Holy Spirit knocking on your heart and challenging you to share the truth, don’t shut Him out! It’s not just about you. The moment another opens up and takes off his or her facade, the shared brokenness immediately begins healing and growth occurs. Moments of community, encouragement, truth and accountability take shape. The results will grow our love for Jesus, His healing power, and the vital importance of sharing our brokenness with one another.
This is especially true with other believers, but what a witnessing opportunity to be honest with the nonbelievers we come in contact with everyday.
My prayer going forward is that we all pause when someone asks how we are. We pause to listen for the Spirit’s still small voice. Is this an opportunity He wants us to share our brokenness, our realness with another? A lot of times saying we are doing well is the honest answer, and praise God for that. But we can all attest to the hundreds of times we’ve given that answer and in our heads we are thinking, “if you only knew…”
Don’t remain a seed. Let your brokenness, your need for Jesus’ healing, crack you open. Let the growth begin!
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bear much fruit.” John 12:24