How Is Your Heart Today?
I sat down at a coffee shop yesterday and couldn’t help but overhear a loud man making business calls. Something clearly was not up to his standard, and he was looking for people to hold accountable. Though I couldn’t hear the person on the other end of the line, it was quite clear that his co-worked answered the call by asking how he was doing. He replied “I’m okay, Julie. Listen…” and, without asking about her day, proceeded to explain his frustrations. After a minute of talking, the man at the coffee shop became very quiet. Julie spoke for a while, and then he responded “I’m so sorry to hear you have Covid. I had it two weeks ago. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do.” The call ended.
If my fellow coffee shop patron had slowed down enough to ask about the person he was calling before the business he was calling about, he could have avoided an awkward situation. As we enter year three of the pandemic, it’s important for all of us to slow down and ask, “How are you?” And it’s important to mean it when we ask. When we take time to check in with ourselves and others, we become better stewards of Jesus in the world.
The organization The Nap Ministry examines the liberating power of naps through a “rest is resistance” framework. Founder Tricia Hersey recently tweeted “Assume everyone who has survived this far into a pandemic is exhausted on some level. Can you decrease output more? Can you lay off requesting things and unnecessary calls and emails? Can you take a nap? Can you put your phone on DND (do not disturb)? Just generally move slower.”
A businessman like the guy in the coffee shop might roll his eyes and say that money never sleeps. But I know Jesus would love Tricia’s message, because I know Jesus loves us and wants us to rest. I don’t want to follow Gordon Gekko. I want to follow Jesus. Now, more than ever, we need to check in with each other, and hold one another in prayer. Now, more than ever, we need to take rest where we can, so that others might do the same.
When we come to church, whether in-person or on-line, there is always an opportunity to check in. I particularly enjoy the message thread on Zoom where folks share joys and concerns or simply comment on a part of the sermon that speaks to them. Maybe this week we can bring a little more church into the world. Take the extra minute to ask the barista how they’re doing and look them in the eye when you ask. Acknowledge the folks you pass on the street. Check in on your strong friends. Start a call with “How is your heart today?” and really listen to the answer. Let us hold one another tenderly.
Questions to ponder:
- How is your heart today?
- How do you normally check-in with other people? Do you take time to check in with yourself? How did Jesus check in with himself and others?
- Following the wise words of Tricia Hersey, where can you decrease output or lay off tasks? What would happen if you gave yourself permission to slow down?
In peace and community and holy, sacred hearts,