I don’t want to become a bitter person through the hardships I have recently encountered. In case my readers think I am headed in that direction after last night’s posting, I’d like to share my dear friend’s gentle admonishment that reminded me of the essential goodness of people’s hearts:
I know all about the “how are you?” question as I heard it time and time again during Doug’s illness and after he passed away. I felt the same as you all are feeling now. But only at first. Then I wondered what it would have been like if no… one said it. What it would have been like if everyone avoided me just so they wouldn’t feel the need to say it. What was even worse was when someone said, “How’s Doug?” Sometimes I blurted out, “He’s horrible” and went on to describe his misery. Oh the look on people’s faces when I did that! Eventually I realized that people ask the “how are you?” question because there is not a whole lot else to say. I also realized that people say it because they care. Often times I could tell that they felt just as awkward saying it as I did hearing it. The bottom line is that most people are good and they truly care about others. “How are you?” actually means “I love you and I’m thinking about you and praying for you.” “Merry Christmas” means God sent His only begotten Son for you and for that we need to rejoice, even in the midst of the chaos on this earth. God is with us just as much on the cloudy days as on sunny ones. Actually He’s closer to us when the going gets tough and if we feel too weak to press forward, He carries us. I hope that the next time you hear “how are you?” that you will know what it really means from that person’s heart. I promise you that it is always said out of love.
Thank you, my friend. You are right, of course. Maybe even about the maintenance man who has likely seen his share of down-hearted parents and grandparents in the hallways.