"I’m Fine"…And Other Lies
According to World Net Daily News, surveys show the average person tells four lies a day, or 1,460 a year for a total of 88,000 by the age of 60. The most common lie is: “I’m fine.” Others on the list include:
“Nice to see you.”
“Sorry I missed your call.”
“This tastes delicious.”
“I’m fine,” which I’m convinced is more popular in pews than pubs, sometimes stands in the way of us finding the grace and help we need in tough times. I once had a guy ask me in church how I was, and when I answered, “I’m fine,” he said, “No you’re not.”
A few days ago I was asked to share my story with around 250 guys at a men’s bible study. At the time I felt fine. Feelings change however, sometimes faster than Florida thunderstorms. After the dinner portion of the evening, I sat in the back of the room listening to a few guys telling their stories of God working in and through them. As one man talked about trusting God for a miracle in healing his daughter’s cancer, he spoke of lessons of prayer, faith and the need for brothers. I couldn’t help but think of my own recent situation. His story ended with God working a miraculous healing in his daughter’s body. My story ended with my sister passing away after a long struggle with her cancer. When life brings us challenges, questions, doubt, and fear, “Fine,” may be far too simple an answer for how we feel.
One of my best friends came home the other day to find he and his new wife were the victims of a senseless home invasion. I heard the aching in his voice as he described it, and would have done anything to take that pain away. Their beloved dog ran out into a busy street during the melee, was hit by a car, and killed. Fine? Not by a long shot. But sharing his hurt and pain enabled friends to rush in like a flood to help, to listen, and to just be present through a tough time.
Most often, when asked how I’m doing, I need to think about it for a second, in order to give a real and honest answer. To say we don’t wander off in doubt, fear, and at times confusion, is to deny God and others, access to touch our hearts with healing, peace, and comfort. I don’t know who started the, “Fake it till you make it,” idea, but surely it’s possible to confess and declare God’s power, His plan for you, and His strength, without you faking anything.
So…not fine today…this week…this past year? You’re in good company. There’s help on the way. The Bible was written for you. Jesus came for you, the messy, the sinners, those, “not fine,” and in need of a physician. (Mark 2:17) On the front page of one of my favorite websites (for those “not fine”), “People of the Second Chance,” (www.potsc.com) is the following nakedly honest description. (I’d love for it to be the description of Estreet Gathering as well)
“Our scars are our strength and broken is beautiful. Failure is an option and rock bottom is a real place. We stand with the overlooked…forgotten…the thrown away…and the left behind. We believe in amazing grace that saved a wretch, an addict, and an outcast like me. We overthrow judgment and liberate love. We are people just like you…and you are just like us…We are stained and we are prodigals…but more importantly…We are people of the second chance.”