It is Monday, and I have not done much of anything. Why? Because I am completely drained of all enthusiasm, of all energy, and still sick to my stomach because of some frozen fish fillets my daughter and I made yesterday.
While many pastors take Mondays off, I still have to work (at least through this week – summer’s coming). While other pastors use Monday to play golf, read, shop for new Lear jets, or watch videos of Francis Chan and David Platt, I must get up early and drive a school bus. But does that bother me? Naaaah! The coffee and sunrises are worth it.
But today is one of those days when I want to read…I want to study…I want to get something done around the house…I want to pray…I want to – I was going to say “exercise,” but that would be lying. I want to be up and doing something, but I just don’t have the energy, and I don’t feel well. So there.
However, if somebody were to call me on the telephone and ask, “Anthony, how are your doing?“, I’d probably answer as I usually do, “I’m fine.”
Don’t Say It!
Now, I know what some of you are probably thinking; I can telepathically sense your indignation. You want to yell at me, “But you’re NOT fine, Anthony! Quit lying!” Yeah, yeah…I’ve heard that before. I’ve even preached it from the pulpit.
A while back, when I was playing bass guitar for The Glovers, the big push was to get people to be honest with each other in the church, to be honest about our hurts. For sure, some wounds can never be healed if they are never brought out into the healing light of the Truth. We would say things like, “If you were honest with your brother, you’d tell him how you really feel,” and, “You say you’re fine, buy you’re lying.”
But I want to go out on a limb and suggest something radical: sharing everything isn’t always the brightest idea.
As Frog Hair
There is a sweet lady in our church, Virginia, who responds the same way about every time I ask how she is doing. Almost without fail she will reply, “Fine as frog hair! And you can’t get much finer than that, can ya’?” Now, I know she has health problems, a few bruises from a recent accident, and a sister who is ill, but what am I supposed to say? Should I scold her for not taking the time to list all her aches and pains? Or, should I just accept the fact that she wants to be encouraging?
Frog hair is pretty fine, I must say. But when it comes to sandpaper and steel wool, fine is certainly a relative term. For example, I would not mind someone lightly rubbing a swatch of fine, Chinese silk across my sunburned shoulder. However, if your were to take a piece of “fine” sandpaper or “OO” steal wool and do the same, I’d have to hurt you once my crying and screaming stopped. Therefore, “fine” is a relative term.
Here’s my point: the next time you ask someone how they’re doing, don’t automatically assume they are being dishonest when they say, “I’m fine.” Not everyone who has a down day writes a blog. Not everyone cares to talk about their bad fish fillets.
Sometimes it’s just fine to say, “I’m fine.”