How are you really doing?

A good friend took 2 ½ hours out of his busy schedule to slow down and listen.  He didn’t need anything from me - he was just interested in how I was doing.  As a pastor and counselor, I spend much of my time asking questions, but this morning I was forced to slow down and see what was going on below the surface in my own life.  Question after question searched deeper and deeper, exploring fears, desires, hopes, and hurts.  While it may not have exactly what I wanted, it was what I needed - someone to dive into the dark and confusing places of my life, not to judge, but to come alongside to help me see God’s grace in new ways.    

In our day to day conversations, we’re often content to hover at the surface.  But below the surface is a vast collection of fears, worries, hopes, loves, desires, hurts, confusions, accomplishments, mistakes, successes, and failures.  Our lives are shaped by these powerful under currents, and we need help making sense of it all.  What is really going on?  How does my story, right here and right now, connect to the greater story of redemption?  The purposes of a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out (Proverbs 20:5).  Good counseling isn’t just the work of professionals - often it’s simply a good friend who cares enough to slow down and ask, “how are you really doing?”