Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

How Are You? (LB)

"Looking Back" is a feature in which I choose a previous blog which I have written, rewrite it and share it once again.  This one was first posted in 2013.

          Those of you who know me personally know that one of my pet peeves are folks who walk by me and say "how are you doing?"  Then they keep on walking.  They don't want an answer.  They really don't care how I am doing and don't want to take the time to find out.  It is just a greeting.  I'd much prefer that they just say "hi".  Sometimes if they pause, I'll answer something like "hanging in there", but generally they don't even wait to hear that.  
          Now a few of my friends answer "better than I deserve" which is probably a good answer, but even that becomes meaningless to those who ask the question.  I've often wondered what a person would do if I responded, "Just wait a moment and let me tell you how I am really doing."   Maybe that would cure them.

       Today we live in a world where we pass people all the time who are living with fears and worries and nobody really seems to care.  We pass them and ignore them, or nod our heads at them, or greet them with the "how are you doing?" meaningless question.  And we probably don't want to be held up to hear what is going on in their lives.  We are too busy or are hung up on our own problems to really care about them.  
          When I think about this, I often think of the words written by Steve Green, "Everyday they pass me by, I can see it in their eyes, Empty people filled with care, Headed who knows where? On they go through private pain, Living fear to fear. Laughter hides their silent cries, Only Jesus hears. People need the Lord, people need the Lord. At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door."

         I had a friend who was going through some difficult times and I hadn't seen him for awhile. Several times I had good intentions and had planned to really ask his wife how things were going.  But, I didn't, she passed by me, and I just greeted her with a "hi".  Then I received a telephone call that he had committed suicide.  I was stunned, but I guess not surprised.  When I look back, I guess I saw many of the signs, but didn't really think it would come to this.  But it did and it is so sad.

       Now this isn't the first time that suicide has affected friends of ours and unfortunately, in this day and age, it probably won't be the last.  Not too long ago a son of a friend of ours ended his life.  And there have been others.  Suicide has become very common in today's society.  And it has a terrible impact upon those who are left behind.  But, in a sense, while I can't condone it, I can understand why it happens.  If you don't have the Lord as your companion, it can be very hard to deal with loneliness and uselessness and hopelessness and illness.  It is hard to know what there is to live for in such circumstances.

       According to experts there are numerous warning signs. •  Appearing depressed or sad most of the time. (Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.)  •  Talking or writing about death or suicide.  •  Withdrawing from family and friends. •  Feeling hopeless. •  Feeling helpless. •  Feeling strong anger or rage. •  Feeling trapped -- like there is no way out of a situation. •  Experiencing dramatic mood changes. • Abusing drugs or alcohol.  •  Exhibiting a change in personality.  •  Acting impulsively.  •  Losing interest in most activities.  •  Experiencing a change in sleeping habits. •  Experiencing a change in eating habits. •  Losing interest in most activities. •  Performing poorly at work or in school. •  Giving away prized possessions. •  Writing a will. •  Feeling excessive guilt or shame. •  Acting recklessly.   It should be noted that some people who die by suicide do not show any suicide warning signs.  But about 75 percent of those who die by suicide do exhibit some suicide warning signs.

         So, with this recent experience I guess I have been challenged to be more concerned about how people are doing and if I can't do anything to help them, I certainly can pray for them faithfully.  

          And, by the way, please don't greet me with "How are you doing?", unless you really want to know.

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