Last night, I had the opportunity to go over to a couple’s house for dinner. I provided a “Mistake Cake” Dessert (what was supposed to be a bundt cake, that turned into a trifle) they provided a delicious dinner , and we just chatted about life.
The conversation was delightful-topics including marriage, exegetical preaching, current readings, and the like filled our evening. Before we sat down to eat, I asked the Mrs. about how she was feeling about life right now. I asked what she found most difficult, how each member of her family is dealing/processing with the current situations, and just listened to her story.
I didn’t think it strange to ask her those questions, because I care about her! I want to know how she is doing! But later in the evening, her husband said something about how rare it is that someone ask how SHE is doing. They have been in ministry for many, many years, and she has mentored many people. They have found that most of the time, the conversations circle around how the other person is doing. Far too infrequently, he said, is her life and struggles addressed and talked about.
Honestly, I was surprised by that.
But then I thought, perhaps that is normal for people in ministry, or who have a counseling heart. Perhaps they listen SO often, and give advice SO frequently, that others simply forget to ask how THEY are. And they deeply need ministered too as well!
So I guess all this to say, that when you are sharing your life and burdens with others, do not forget to also care for their burdens. Remember that their shoulders that help bear your pain, through strong, could certainly use a friend to bear their pains as well.
This quote has been steadfastly on my heart and mind these last few months:
Listen. Love. Ask. Care.
Thanks for reading 🙂