I’m shocked by the amount of pain and suffering I see all around us, and yet most people are oblivious to it. All of us are so busy and caught up with our own agenda’s that we have no time to recognize the hurting in our path.
Maybe this is what Jesus was referring to with the Parable of The Good Samaritan. The first few people walked by and saw the man hurting on the side of the road, but refused to take the time to slow down and check on him.
Don’t get me wrong, we will superficially ask people, “how are you doing?” But we hardly slow down long enough to hear their fake response to our question. It’s probably because we know the person asking, “how we are doing” doesn’t really care. It’s more of a way to say, “hi” than a genuine curiosity.
So we tell them we’re doing “fine” or worse yet “good”. But we’re not fine. We’re not good. We are walking around thinking to ourselves, asking the question in our mind, “does anybody care?” “Does anybody see me?”
I’m crushed by the wright of the everyday pressures of life, all the while I’m watching my mom die in the hospital. It’s a sight I can’t get out of my mind. The questions rage on, “will she recover?” “Did I leave anything unsaid or done?” “Was this our last Christmas with my mom?” “How will my son process the grief of losing his Grammy?”
We look to the church, in hopes that surely someone there will see me. See the pain in my eyes, and the heaviness of my heart. But it’s no different. It’s “business” as usually on Sunday morning. Even when one of the pastors comes up and asked me sincerely how I was doing, and I replied, “terrible.” He said, “I know brother, and we’re praying for you and your mom. But other than that, how are things going?”
Other than that? Other than that! What else is there? My mom is dying, and the more we pray the worse things get.
All I wanted is for him to stop what he was doing, put his hand on my shoulder and pray for me. Or maybe give me a hug and just let me cry on his shoulder. But instead I got… “we’ll be praying for you.”
As we are trying to serve in the church as ushers, helping fill every last seat in the sanctuary. I’m yelled at by the person I was standing in front of for all of 3 seconds, “Hey, can you move!”
I moved out of his way, then bent down and tapped him on the knee and said, “I’m sorry for blocking your view.” He in turn waved me off with his hand, and with a sour look on his fact told me to go away.
Is this the church? Are these God’s kid’s? No wonder no one wants anything to do with the church. No wonder people proclaim, “I love Jesus, I just don’t like the church.” Do you blame them?
The one place in the world we should be able to look for hope, support, prayer, anything… and we get superficial “how ya’ doing” from a bunch of people who are walking around, hiding under a mask, pretending that everything is okay, all the while dying on the inside and crying out for connection and love.
Maybe when I make it through this season, it will cause me to walk a little bit slower. Maybe it will cause me to look into the peoples eye’s and hear beyond the superficial. Maybe I will learn to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading and guiding more. Or maybe I’ll run back to the status quo. Back to busy. Back to no time for anyone but myself.
How about you? What will you do now that you know?