When I was a kid, I loved to ride my bike, everywhere. I liked taking risks and going fast. It should come as no surprise to you then that I would end up in the emergency room from time to time. On one such occasion I wanted to see how long I could go down the biggest hill in the area without touching my brakes. I estimate that I was going somewhere between forty and fifty miles per hour when I thought maybe I should slow down. The front wheel had begun to shimmy pretty bad and I didn’t like my chances. I don’t remember anything really after that until a blonde haired older kid stopped me.
“Are you ok?”
He looked to be sixteen or seventeen, deeper voice, tall. I looked down at myself, my bike. I was bleeding everywhere I could see. The back wheel of my bike had the gears mangled and would turn. I was dizzy and disoriented.
“I’m ok.” I replied.
He got the back wheel so it would turn and then let me go. I arrived at my house (about a mile from where I had wrecked) and walked through the front door. My sister said hi and then screamed, and kept screaming. My parents, who were preparing to go somewhere and were already in the car, heard the screaming and came back in the house. There I was bloody and ruined, now crying for fear of what I had done to myself. Didn’t know that I was a mess.
People do that all the time. Tell everyone they’re ok when they aren’t. Tell people they’re alive when they’re dying. And christians, my brothers and sisters, me, we ask, “Are you OK?” Then we accept the lie they tell themselves, absolving ourselves of any responsibility to tell them the truth. But, they aren’t ok. Divorce, addiction, hatred, abuse, pride, sin have left them broken and bleeding, hurt so deeply that they can’t feel anymore. And we know what heals, we know who helps and restores.
I guess we better stop asking the question and start sharing THE ANSWER.