How are you?

There was one question on my heart as I rushed to meet my amazing team of volunteer chaplains: ‘how are you?’

I pictured us going out into the city and asking people how they were. That’s it. No trays or signs or art work, we were armed with the simplest of questions which we then just went off to ask people.

Three things quickly became clear:

If you ask people sincerely how they are doing they really don’t know how to answer, in fact it freaks people out! Try it. Ask someone how they are doing, but really mean it! I went up to one guy and simply said ‘excuse me, I’m asking people how they are this afternoon and would really like to ask you how you are doing.’ He considered my question for a few seconds and then replied…’you know what, I’m doing well…’ We then spoke about why he was doing well. Afterwards he thanked me for asking how he was doing. Others however didn’t know how to answer. They said things like: ‘no, I’m busy thank you, no time to talk…’

Secondly people like to replicate the question and enquire as to how you are! One guy, Tom the flower seller, wanted to give something to us in return for asking how he was doing. He have 2 very large bunches of flowers! One we knew was for one of our team who is suffering with bad health and the other we looked out for and met sometime who was bowled over to receive such an outrageous gift! It made her day and when we asked if we may pray for her for anything she asked for prayer for her new great-great grand niece being born imminently!

Thirdly, out of all those you ask you will meet someone who will be grateful that they have someone to tell how they really are doing. I ventured in the middle of a big group of young people who are part of ‘the goth’ alternative scene in Peterborough and asked a few people the question. A few minutes later I’m listening to a young man who pours out his heart as to what’s been occurring in his life recently. Afterwards he shook my hand and said that he would look out for me and talk some more.

So, how are you? Let me know with a comment or two below and I would love to pray and take an interest in you, but also please ask someone today how they are doing, and be ready to listen! It is such a simple way to show LOVE.

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