Painful Social Obligations (PSO)

                     National Health Statistics Report March 2012

National Health Statistics Report March 2012

Having a failed marriage in my past, having shoved my feelings into the tiniest corner of my soul, I know a pain that unfortunately many of you share, even if you’re currently married. It can be especially difficult this time of year when media is plastered with utopian Hallmark spots of ideal (insert unreal) relationships and families.

People have the best intentions in asking the obvious and seemingly obligatory “How was (insert holiday/event)?”  Often we don’t realize how deeply those words can sting; how they’re another reminder of a broken state of life. Going back to my former life, I remember the painful awkward discomfort every time I explained (or glossed over) the change in my circumstances.

Sometimes a messy life can feel like a neon sign that will never turn off; like a menacing mosquito unwilling to be silenced.

Sometimes people just need a break from the mess.

Statistics being what they are, it’s possible that half your friends are facing a fracture in their family; it’s very likely that you are completely unaware. Marriage troubles, parenting difficulties, health, estranged adult children…This isn’t to suggest don’t ask, rather, consider motives for asking. If you’re looking to connect with a friend or acquaintance, a simple sincere, “How are you?” can go far in opening the doors to the heart.

Heart Check: Pause, reflect on a past broken time in life. Where has God brought you since? What would have been helpful to you during festive times? What simple gesture will you make today to help a friend or acquaintance you’re aware is hurting?

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