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Are You Well?

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are you well?

I get asked this question most days. it comes in the context of the beginnings of a superficial conversation, or towards the end of a more meaningful one. i’m sure i’m not alone. i’m sure it gets asked and answered by countless people everyday, most of whom will take it the way it was intended, and politely respond by saying “i’m well.“.

Social convention seems to dictate that you respond by saying either: “i’m well“, backing it up with some remotely awesome things that have been going on, or you do the opposite: “things aren’t that great“, which inevitably opens up the expectation that you will share, albeit with varying degrees of depth, the nature of your situation and why it blows. therein lies the dilemma: either you lie through your teeth because you couldn’t be bothered explaining/don’t feel comfortable to, or you tell the truth and go into detail.

Lately, my default position is to do the former, because i’m over doing the latter. i don’t think i’m getting asked this question any more than i used to, i think i’m just more aware of it because these days it appears that alot of the time i’m not well, i’m crook. i’m not having a whinge, i’m just worn out. i’ve had plenty of time to think about it too, plenty of time wrestling with how it reconciles with my world view, and i’m glad because that’s quite well.

A guy called Paul wrote a bunch of letters to his friends, and in one he explains why things are OK, even when they suck. this guy lived it. he had all sorts of sucky things happen to him: he lived with guilt, he temporarily lost his sight, he was falsely accused, he lost some mates, he was shipwrecked, he’d done plenty of unjust prison time, and lived with what he called “a thorn in my flesh“. yet despite all that, he was able to say that he was glad about his lot because of what he knew about his maker, he recalled what Jesus has said to him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness“.

I’m thinking about the two options in answer to the “are you well?” question: lie or overshare.

I think i’m gonna role with a third option: “i’m not well, but i’m ok about it.” 🙂

Written by ads

August 21st, 2011 at 12:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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