Tuesday, 19 August 2008

How Are You?

Well, it has been over a week since I posted an update. All has been good at the McGibbon house. Liam has not had any migraines. Praise God. Your prayers have been pouring in and we as a family are so grateful. Liam has even been eating better over the past four to five days. This is partially because he is just eating more and also because I am trying to make every mouthful count. The worship team even got to try my new brownie recipe that included spinach and blueberries! Liam ate them up and so did they! I guess I am getting sneaky in my old age!

Since Liam was diagnosed I have been asked the same question almost everyday, "How are you?" It is the type of question that is easy to answer on the surface. It the polite thing to ask people when you see them. It has become part of our cultural greeting. "Hi! How are you?" You say it to your neighbour as you see them putting out their garbage in the morning. "How are you today?", you ask the cashier in the checkout line. Often it is asked so automatically that we do not really want an honest answer we are just being polite. So that being the case most of the time we as respondents only need a surface answer. "Oh fine. How are you?"

The problem for me is that when your son has a brain tumor, people actually want to know how you are. The "How are you?" question is followed with "Really... how are you?" And people wait for a response and they are actively listening.

Although, it is such a simple question I think it is the one question that we often don't really want to be honest about. It is the type of question that we should ask everyday in our quiet time with God and yet for myself it is the question that scares me the most. To answer it with honesty requires self examination. It requires being alone with ourselves long enough to let the noise die down in our head. Maybe it is just me but at first I was a bit afraid of what the answer might be. I didn't really want to wrestle with hard questions. How did this heartbreaking situation fit with my image of Jesus? Why would God allow this to happen to Liam? I had so many questions I thought I would never find answers to them all. Here is the part that I have been learning. When I have exhausted myself in asking all the questions that I may or may not ever find answers to I realize that they all lead me back to one central question. What is my greatest fear about God?

I had a good friend who said to me recently that people usually take one of two paths when they are faced with a tough trial. They either run to Jesus or they run from him. Do I trust the word of God? Do I trust who Jesus said He was? Do I believe in God's promises? I settled those questions in my heart long ago. This situation does not change any of my answers. Circumstances will continue to change. Some will be good and well I guess right now I am experiencing the not so good but God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. And I will continue to need Jesus all of those days. So I have my answer.

So how are you?

1 comment:

  1. It's so easy to just gloss over how you REALLY are and respond in a socially acceptable way that gets you past that awkward moment when you feel you would like for someone to know just how much you are struggling/hurting but are not sure that the other person REALLY wants to know or if they are just being polite. Sometimes I think we are a little afraid that if we were totally honest about how we are doing, we might scare someone off. Can they handle knowing how we are really doing? Then there are the times that you respond, "I'm fine!" and really believe that you are but they ask again and you begin to question yourself - "Hmmm, do they see something or sense something that I am missing or denying?" It would be nice if we could all just take off the masks but I don't see it happening. Just don't let the mask deceive yourself.
    One last thought - I think that sometimes we wear the mask because we are afraid that if we don't, people will question our faith. That's another whole set of thoughts...
    Kimberley, I love you and am praying for you guys. I know it is a difficult time but I commend you for the strength of your witness in the midst of the turmoil. Hugs to each of you! Isn't it great that our faith rises above our circumstances!