Life can be tough at times, but to have someone come close and tell you that you’re doing ok can bring deep reassurance and a sense of being centered.
Sometimes you need to be told that you’re doing ok.
They were in a time in their life when it felt like they were in a bubbling cauldron of change. It was bubbling away, and life threw challenge after challenge at them. It was stressful, and they felt it in their body. They felt tired and needed a place to rest.
Then questions started to rise within their thinking.
Did they make the right decision? Perhaps they weren’t meant to be doing this? Maybe they don’t have what it takes?
Thoughts started to spiral downward. Depression and anxiety began to sneak in the back door.
I was watching my friend slowly and steadily lose their way off the path.
I reached out, placed my hand on their shoulder, and told them they were doing ok.
‘Am I really?’ was the response, but looking in my eyes and feeling the affirming touch of my hand, they knew that they weren’t alone.
You’re Doing Ok’
I think we all need people in our lives that can reassure us that were doing ok.
It’s the comparison game that can trip us up. We compare ourselves to others, or more likely to what others present to us.
We also compare ourselves to our younger years when we had all that energy and dreams and goals. Or it might be a comparison to some future years where we have dreams and aspirations but seemingly never come to be.
But to be ok, in this present moment as you read this, well, that is the secret.
We all need someone who can understand the story and appreciate the work of life.
Someone who can say, ‘I see you, I know you, I am with you, and you’re doing ok.’
This isn’t rocket science either. It doesn’t take much to offer the other person a ‘with you’ moment.
That ‘With you’ moment
There is one phrase that covers the whole story of the Bible. It’s part of the BIG STORY. The meta-narrative that our little stories of three score years plus ten (more or less) comprise a stage scene.
It’s the ‘with you’ moment. In prosperity and poverty, in anxiety and depression, in moments where you feel completely abandoned and alone, in times of betrayal, loss, shame, guilt, and pain. There is one whisper that shouts through creation.
‘I am with you.’
I tangibly feel it when another flawed and failing human being reaches out a hand, listens to the story, touches my heart, and says, ‘You’re doing ok.
It’s a grounding in the reality of us all being on a darkly lit path.
What do they know
You may scream internally at these three words. ‘Well, what do they know! Do they know about this and that?
They may not know all the dirt you have to shovel through, but perhaps what they are offering is that from their limited point of view that they want to offer a gift of solidarity, not solutions.
This may be the time where you can ask if you can share something of the ongoing story. The struggle of the moment. That expression of not feeling ok.
Discovering a ‘warm your heart’ walk
It’s a beautiful story of two travelers who were not doing ok. They were hurting and confused. They had seen an innocent man put to death. Crucified.
In their struggle, one came alongside and expressed that they were doing ok in light of all the struggle. They had a ‘with you’ moment of warm fellowship.
That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem.
They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.
He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?”
They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Luke 24:13-35
Sometimes we don’t recognize the stranger that comes alongside us and offers us that heartfelt compansion in the ‘You’re doing ok’ community.
There is a desire still in the heart of the Christ to come alongside the weary, the confused, the downtrodden. Perhaps Jesus comes in the presence of someone like you.
Oh yes, and there are times when people are not doing ok, and you need to be equally gentle and loving and show a storied interest in the path they are on.
Quotes to consider
- The lamp for our path illumines our next step but leaves much ahead, beside, and behind in darkness. Change from the inside out will always be, in the final analysis, a work of God and must therefore remain a mystery. Remembering this can help us keep realistic expectations of any teaching on change as well as reverence for the God whose ways are far above ours. Larry Crabb Inside Out.
- Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread. D.T. Niles
- No one person can fulfill all your needs. But the community can truly hold you. The community can let you experience the fact that, beyond your anguish, there are human hands that hold you and show you God’s faithful love. Henri Nouwen inner voice of love
- When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. Henri J.M. Nouwen
Questions to consider
- Who in your life needs to hear the words ‘You’re doing ok?
- Why do we strive for independence when we were created for interdependence?
- What would it be like to be told that ‘You’re doing ok?