"How are you?"
"I'm good, and you?"
How often have you heard that three-sentence conversation? I think I hear it repeated the most during that five minute hand shaking time in church. Not enough time to really invest in another person's life, we all resort to the standard "I'm good" reply when asked. It often becomes our default answer even when the world is falling apart. So what do you say when it really does feel like the world is crashing down and you can't give life a trite "good" label? What do you say when you hope the makeup hides your puffy cried-too-much eyes or know that you can't possibly cover up that new crease line in your forehead? How do you respond to well meaning questions or wishes for a "great day?" What do you say when you don't know what to say?
This one aspect makes me incredibly thankful for our brothers and sisters in Christ. In the family of Christ, we are commanded to carry one another's burdens. We are told to help bear each other up and lift one another before the throne. We are told not only to rejoice with those who rejoice, but to weep with those who weep, as well. Through the blood of Christ, we are quite literally bonded together and become our "brother's keeper." We literally exist for one another.
Sometimes, you don't need to say a thing when someone asks how you're doing. Sometimes they'll just know, they'll understand, and they'll silently come alongside you and stand with you. Other times you will need to speak up and share the hurt and heartache you are facing. But that's okay. Because that is why we have each other. To encourage, to love, to weep with, to stand together in prayerful silence when silence is all there is left. When we realize that our lives are placed here for those around us, our focus becomes entirely different and entirely correct. Christ came to this world to live and die and rise again for others. When we become His children, we are to take up that same cross, deny ourselves and follow in His footsteps.