“How are you?”
I’d guess this is one of people’s most common greetings. And I’ve found it one of the most meaningless ones. Not that some people who ask this aren’t sincere in wanting a real answer. But it’s usually said as commonly as “hello” and not really intended to be answered…not really. I mentally kick myself when I use it casually.
The truth is, most of us answer, “I’m good, fine,” or some variant of the two, while beneath the mask, we’re struggling, hurting, in pain, grief, feeling the fatigue of life, etc.
So recently I have tried to do things a bit differently: “What things are new in your life lately?”
And then really listening. And asking questions to keep the conversation going and letting the person know I actually do want to hear. Even if it means stopping what I am doing for a few minutes (these few minutes aren’t mine anyway, they’re His). Even if I can’t do anything to change what they’re telling me.
Sometimes the best way…the simplest way…to show someone who Christ is can be just to listen. With patience and kindness. With interest.
Tell me…what ideas do you have for better ways to open up conversations with people that lets them know you actually want to connect with them, if only for a few moments? I’d like to hear your experiences.