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There are three words that share absolutely nothing about a person’s state of being. These words which create an empty, meaningless phrase are “I am fine.” What exactly does that mean, and who could ever justify this type of response? The often overlooked phrase serves its purpose of being elusive as the person offering the statement is hoping for an end to the conversation and the inquiry’s digging.
The issue with the general usage of this three-word response is that we have all become inoculate to its effect. We accept generalities, like this as if they are filled with important data. I mean, what is ‘fine?’ Is it a physical description, like sexy or attractive? Is it a grade or measurement such as the density of a person’s hair? Does the term conjure a norm for emotional stability – somewhere between ‘This life sucks’ and ‘if I were any better, I would be a twin’? Frankly, the term seems to have only one useful purpose – to tell the audience absolutely nothing.
If you want to head off a long line of questioning about anything, just respond with the non-conditional ‘fine.’ There is seemingly nowhere to go from that point. Just ask my children, as this is their standard response to anything I ask them. How are your grades? Fine. How was basketball, band, or martial arts? Fine. How are your friends doing? Fine. How was the visit to your grandparents’ house? Fine. How is your sixth toe and third row of teeth? Fine. And I am guilty of accepting their answers and leaving them alone – but I wonder often if they really want me to push a little harder, just to prove that I really care about their answers, their grades, activities, friends, or grandparents.
Let’s consider the danger of stopping at ‘fine.’ What if something is wrong or at least needs to be discussed? If we become so anesthetized to this response, then we may miss a narrow window to discover that we are truly needed. Crises happen to and around all of us. So the help that we are able to provide, need to provide should be clearly stated. We should carry a posture of concern and availability. But if we are programed to both respond ‘fine’ or accept that answer from others, then the pain, disappointment, fear, doubt, joy and celebration that the person in front of us could suffer neglect.
The charge I offer to each of us is to dig a little deeper the next time we hear this three-word phrase. Make sure that we understand what is really being said, or not being said. Let’s prepare ourselves to be the person available to make sure that everything is actually ‘fine.’ Press just a little harder and pay a little more attention to them – just in case things are actually anything but ‘fine.’
Let’s talk about sex and love and making love. Why did God give us sex? Pleasure or utility or both? Is there a right or a wrong way to have sex? How about darn good Sex? WOW! Join us Thursday, February 6 at 7pm CST. Listen live online, or call in 347-237-4648. Press 1 to join the conversation.
This week’s special guests are Cal & Wendy Roberson from www.marriedandnaked.com.
Married and Naked began in 2009 as a subsidiary of Marriage Vows Ministries. Calvin and Wendy Roberson know first hand the trials that come from marriage. Both have experienced marital loss, renewal and marital success. They have now committed themselves to helping others avoid the pitfalls they have encountered.
Calvin has been a New York Stock Exchange registered representative, a Regional Vice President of an international investment firm, Dean of Arts at Duke Ellington School of Arts in D.C. He has also been the Senior Pastor of ten churches. He holds a graduate degree and has had post graduate doctoral studies in ministry and law. Calvin is the author of the thought-provoking book, the Gospel of Non-sense. He is also a sought after public speaker and a successful religious counselor for more than fifteen years. His keen insight has made him a highly desired professional.
Wendy is an insightful and energetic addition to this union. She brings with her years of nurturing experience as a nurse. She has been involved in various faith-based initiatives for over ten years. She knows first hand what deliverance and restoration means and this is seen in the way she compassionately ministers to the diverse groups in their ministry. She is a coach to young ladies and counselor to mature women. She is an intuitive and engaging conversationalist and stands as a personal testimony of what God can accomplish through a yielded and willing vessel.
Cal and Wendy are unique in that they are a blended family and understand first hand the trials and successes of traditional as well as non-traditional family situations. They have three children, Calvin II, Andrew and Khloe. It is their belief that through their efforts, God will heal the hurting, comfort the discouraged and bring about the spiritual success and advancement that God originally intended for his people.
God rightly should be our first love, primarily because God loves us well before we even know what love means.
We’re excited to welcome Andrea Mosley Scott to the C2L Family. Each week, she’ll bring us The Passion Play of the Day.
Special thanks to Danielle Chatman for sharing her poem “What Love Is . . . ”