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Is it fair to respond, “I don’t know…” when someone asks how you’re feeling; or to just shrug your shoulders and look away?
I suppose it depends on the why we think they asked. But, by presuming to know the motives behind their asking, we put ourselves into their mind, where we don’t belong, because, truthfully, we don’t know what really goes on there.
We believe we can safely surmise what someone’s thinking or what their intentions are, sometimes based on their past subsequent responses to us. If, in the past, they seemed not to truly care, we conclude that this time is no different. But, what if in the past they did truly care, but didn’t quite know how to communicate their concern to us? What if their “care button” isn’t broken, but their “communication button” works differently than ours?
There are many reasons we turn from the attention of others. Perhaps we don’t think they actually care, or their personality overwhelms us. Maybe we don’t have the time or interest to reciprocate that care. Sometimes we may just feel like our concerns don’t deserve a spotlight or we’d rather keep them to ourselves, insisting that no one could help us anyway. It could be pride or it could be privacy.
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It could be that we honestly don’t even know in our own heart why we run from the love or attention others offer us.
Personally, the way thoughts often jumble together in my own mind sometimes causes me to panic, not finding the “correct” response fast enough, forcing me to emotionally shut down to keep from exhibiting an emotional response that others might not find acceptable. Of course, rightly or wrongly, I probably base what is “correct” or “acceptable” on past responses or my own imagination.
I guess I’m writing this post to probe: Why do YOU run? Am I alone in my feelings? Am I basing my actions and reactions on deceit?
Logically, if forcing things down inside myself hasn’t worked to “fix” things in the past, why would I (or we) think that this time that’s the fix we should reach for?
Yet, if reaching out for help in the past hasn’t yielded the results we hoped for, why would we continue to reach out?
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I believe that God created us with a need for each other; a need to connect with each other, as a means of meeting our other human needs. If this is true, then it makes sense that the enemy of Life would want to sever our relationships wherever possible. No? Satan’s most effective tools against us include deception; false illusions, and cleverly created evidence to back up those deceptions. As people, we can be very vulnerable, perhaps to the point where we run from the very help we seek.
The Word of God instructs us to bear one another’s burdens, while a few verses later we read that we have to bear our own burdens. (Galatians 6:1-5)
The King James version of the Bible uses the word ‘burden’ in both places. Upon looking into the meaning of the Greek words behind the word burden, we find that in verse two, where we’re instructed to help bear the burdens of others, the word reveals a weight, something heavy bearing down on us. The word burden in verse five divulges a task, or a service. So, while we are to help each other with the concerns/burdens that weigh us down, we are each expected to perform the tasks and services God asks of us. We’re each to fulfill our own purposes; our own destinies, but will likely require help along the way when the weight of being human becomes too heavy for one soul.
Throughout scripture we read over and over again that God is our help in time of trouble.
The writer of Hebrews encourages us greatly:
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:6 (KJV)
God often chooses to meet our needs through the hands and hearts of those around us. The only need I can think of that God provides Himself, personally, is that of redemption. When He redeemed us, saving us from sin and eternal destruction, He did that through the cross.
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Even as Jesus commanded Lazarus to come from the grave, He turned to those around him and instructed them to release him from the graveclothes that bound him. (John 11:43-44 KJV)
The burdens of this life serve as graveclothes. Through the grace of His redemption, we’re further blessed with the body of Christ - each other - to help tear away the confines of binding graveclothes.
Yet……we hide. Why do you hide?