Saturday, March 14, 2015

Getting Real

Our church is always talking about the power of transparency.  We learn each week about being real and honest about where you are and where you have been in your life.  Your experiences hold the power to change other people's lives; You can truly meet someone where they are and give them hope.  I buy into this philosophically but I don't often apply it to my daily rounds.  I decided this week to try and change that.

I challenged myself to truthfully answer the question, "how are you" when anyone at church asks me. I have been trained to smile in the face of adversity, to maintain an optimistic attitude and to not burden others with whatever it is I am dealing with so this was not an easy thing to do.  Still, I felt a quiet presence urging me to make this change.  

I snuck into the bathroom after communion knowing I had a few minutes before the sermon started.  As I washed my hands, an older woman said, "Hi Kate!  How are you!?"  I didn't know her but she did know me (maybe from singing in the band?).  I hesitated then said, "I'm doing okay but I'm still a bit sad.  We had to put our dog to sleep on Friday and my heart is still grieving a bit."  I held my breath.  Had I just become one of those people who spill their problems on everyone else? Her eyes welled with tears. 
"My dog is thirteen and I've been struggling with that same decision.  I love her so much and I can't imagine my life without her."
I hugged her and told her I completely understood.  "You will know when it's time.  Just tell me when that is and we'll pray and make sure that my Burtie is there waiting for her."

She nodded, trying not to let her tears spill as she made her way back into the sanctuary.  I prayed for both she and her dog, Savannah, to have total and complete peace then took my seat next to my husband.  

The quiet voice we hear always has a purpose.  He must have known that she needed me that morning.  He must have known that I needed someone who understood, too.  Being transparent is a gift you give and receive at the same time.  It is freeing to share the secrets that live in our hearts.  It is also an opportunity to love someone, no matter what they have done or who they are.  I will keep trying to listen to His quiet voice.  Maybe you can, too.

Do you practice transparency in your daily rounds?  How can you get a bit more real today?

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