This past week, people have continuously asked me how I was doing. Even people I don’t know have stopped me and asked how all of the Suwannee Middle School faculty and staff were doing. I appreciate their concern very much, and I know this is one great thing about living in a smaller, rural community. Still, there were a few moments this week when someone went the extra mile, so to speak, to truly show they genuinely cared about how I was doing. It wasn’t, how are the students, or how is the school? It was, how are you? Not only that, but they took the time to listen to my response. You see, they could see the sadness in my eyes and in my actions. They knew I needed a smile, a hug, or a word of encouragement. And they simply wanted to know the answer to the question, “Are you okay?”

Sadly, we get so busy in our daily lives that we forget to ask if people are doing okay. Oh, we may ask how they are doing, but we may not take the time to ask someone if they really are doing okay. Many times, we greet someone by saying, “Hello, how are you?” Instead of really wanting to know how they are at the moment, it almost becomes more of a courtesy to ask such a question. Unfortunately, people may ask this question as a formality, yet they may not even care how the person is actually doing. Because of the large number of times people ask this question each day, the sincerity with which it is asked is sometimes lacking. Still, there are times when we encounter someone who goes the extra mile to ask us how we are really doing and if we are really okay.

Recently, one dear friend took time out of her busy day to put her arm around me, and then proceeded to ask me if I was doing alright. Then, we shared how we were both feeling about the loss of Coach Edwards. Our sentiments were the same: shock, disbelief, sadness. She asked me if I was okay. She also said if there was anything she could do to help me, she would; all I had to do was to let her know. In truth, she helped me more than she will ever know, just by showing that she cared. Another dear friend gave me a hug, and asked me how I was holding up. Then, she gave one of the sweetest, most unselfish gifts of all: a listening ear. She listened to my sorrows and joys, my worries and cares. And she offered support when I needed it most. These two kindhearted ladies took time to see how I was doing. And in doing so, I left them with my head a little higher, my steps a little lighter, and my smile a little wider.

One day this week, I had an appointment to go to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned. I had dreaded this appointment for quite some time, as routine cleanings are somewhat uncomfortable due to my overly sensitive teeth. I worried about how much it would hurt and whether or not the dental hygienist would be gentle or not. As soon as I sat down with everything in place, the hygienist asked me if I was okay. Consistently, she asked this same question over and over during the entire process. And she didn’t just ask the question and keep working. Instead, she listened to any request I made and corrected anything that might have been making me uncomfortable. You see, she didn’t just ask the question as a formality. She cared about my well-being. She cared if I was experiencing undue pain or discomfort. She cared if I was okay or not.

On your journey through life, there will be times when people ask you if you are okay. Sometimes, they will be sincere and take the time to hear your response. Other times, they will hurry on to their next appointment without even giving you the time of day. I am thankful to know that I can cherish the moments when someone takes the time to show they care. And during the times when people do not genuinely want to know how I am doing, I am grateful that there is One who will always care how I am doing. Jesus Christ is the Friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). There is never a time when I cannot talk to Him. And there is never a time when He will not listen. He will always take time to see if I am doing alright. And He will do the same for you. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He will always love you. He will always care for you. And He will always want to know if you’re okay.

In Christ’s Love,