Saturday, January 26, 2008

Not What It Seems

I took the Uber-Princess out to play in our back yard the other day. We were out there a half hour or so. The snow was too fluffy to build a snowman or snow fort, but we did get some good angels. Since then the temperatures have dropped horribly. Our days have started off sub-zero and gotten barely warmer. But the sun has been shining, making it look deceptively beautiful out there.

A good metaphor that makes. We go around all the time in our culture looking happy, satisfied. The common question of "how are you doing" is really just a waste of breath most of the time. We all answer "fine" all the time. But truth is, nobody is fine all the time. We're just too hesitant to be vulnerable enough to say "not so good".

I find myself wishing I could do more for others, to help in a constructive way. But I'm not creative enough to be able to think of what would be good. I don't pick up on the subtle clues the way some people can (Llama Momma, I'm thinking of you here). And the whole facade of being fine doesn't help me. I like the times when people open up and share what's really going on. Then I feel like there is some way I can be there for them, whether it is by simply praying or by coming alongside them in their troubles and actively helping carry the burden by making a meal, taking a kid to play, picking up groceries.

But as unwillingly flawed human beings we're reluctant to let on how we really are. We're afraid the reaction will be like what mine is on those deceptively sunny days. I might open the door and step outside, but when I find how frigid it is, I quickly shut the door and stay inside. If that is our reaction when people open up - to quickly shut out their pain or trouble, then no wonder the sunny facade stays up. I just hope I don't react that way. And I hope to continue to learn how to encourage others to be real.

I'm not sure if I've made any real points here. Just pondering...musing if you will. I don't do that often enough these days and I apologize for the frequent lapse in posts. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Maybe your comments can help me crystalize my analogy a little better.

8 musings:

Michelle Gregory said...

"I find myself wishing I could do more for others, to help in a constructive way. But I'm not creative enough to be able to think of what would be good. I don't pick up on the subtle clues the way some people can"

I think one of the greatest gifts we can give to others is the gift of really listening - not giving advice or even trying to feel their emotions - but just letting them know we care by taking the time to listen with two ears and one mouth.

And as far as marketing a new type of lit, I have no idea what I'd call it. Any ideas?

Llama Momma said...

I love this musing of yours!

Sometimes just being present in someone's pain is enough. Not talking them out of it or trying to fix it, but just being there. Really listening.

L.L. Barkat said...


And I love the photo. It looks like a phoenix rising from the ashes. And maybe that has some bearing on this discussion too. For it's about changing the way things were and forging through the fire to something new.

Michelle Gregory said...

I have something for you.

PattyK said...

Awesome analogy about shutting the door too quickly. I love your blog and its title. And your taste in books too! (previous post)

And I'm happy that you're going to do FEBO. :~)

The Beast Mom said...

Good points you make here. I agree that we're all usually unwilling to be so honest.

For me, I don't feel like most people REALLY want to know. So I just don't bother really answering...


A Musing Mom said...

Whoa! Imagine my surprise as I logged on to the blog today to find all these comments. That's what I get for not checking email!

Michelle, Llama Momma- I think I get what you're saying: "don't just do something. Stand there!".

LL-I like the analogy you found. It's a hopeful one, isn't it?

Michelle-thanks for including me in your list. :)

PattyK-is it February yet? Cuz I'm ready!

Beast Mom-hmmm... very good point. Which probably ties back to Michelle & Llama Momma's points. If I want real answers I need to become a better listener myself. Ouch!

Craver Vii said...

How's this for a snow angel? I found it on the cover of a small group study guide. It about angels, but look closely at the picture. This snow angel was not made by man or child. It is a much darker picture, once you connect the dots.

Dark, and yet... strangely funny, because it appears on the cover of a study guide about angels. Mwaa ha haaaa...