Every day, multiple times a day, someone asks a simple question. How are you? And every day, multiple times a day, I give a simple answer. I'm good. or I'm busy. or I'm fine, how are you? But each time I say those words, I'm holding back. My soul is rarely truly good or fine. Busy is just a blanket that tries to mask the true reality. My soul is weary, restless, in need of renewal. My life is full and busy, yes, that's true, but how are you is a question directed at the soul, not the state of my schedule.
What if, when people asked how are you, I actually responded honestly? What if I chose to bare what I so often hide away behind socially accepted niceties? What if I unlocked the guarded parts of the truest places in me and brought reality into the light?
I'm weary. I'm discouraged. I'm disheartened. I'm unsure. I'm restless. I'm struggling. I'm searching. I feel unsure, unstable, uneasy. I feel shaky in my soul even though my head knows Christ is a solid rock and a firm foundation.
What if how are you became an invitation for honesty and truth to spill out onto the table? What if we asked it intentionally, with compassion and abounding love for the words spoken in return? What if we chose to not just ask these questions as we pass each other in the hallways or aisles where a real response has no room to spread out, but instead made space for these questions to open conversations full of layers and messes and gutsy, glorious truth?
If our souls are the truest, most us part of us, then doesn't how are you really mean how is your soul? What would it look like to be so in tune with our souls, so aware of the depths of our feelings and personalities at their core that we could respond openly and honestly about what's going on there? What would it look like for us to attend to our souls like we attend to our bodies, to feed them with life-giving, restorative things and remove the clutter and the chaos we've shoved in instead? What if we were real about that with those around us who want to know how we really are?
How is your soul?