I am a liar.
“How are you?”
“Good! How are you?”
It’s easy. The cheery answers slips out before the real answer even has time to form on my lips. After all, how would people react if I told them the truth? What would people say if I told them I wasn’t “good,” and I hadn’t been “good” for quite some time? Pain makes us uncomfortable. When we ask someone how they are, we want a cheery answer. We don’t want the truth.
In Luke 8:42-48, Jesus encounters a woman would not been “good” for twelve years. The Bible tells us, “And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years and no one could heal her (Luke 8:43, NIV).” I imagine her church had prayed and sent casseroles, but after 12 years they were probably tired of her pain. They were tired of the truth staring them in the face: she wasn’t “good,” and there was nothing they could do.
I imagine she was desperate. Anything she could do that might help she did. She tried creams, oils, and self help books. Nothing worked. She was still sick. So, when rumors of a healer began to circulate, she went to him. She made her way through the crowd, the same crowd who had grown tired of her ailment. She reached her fingers out and touched the edge of his cloak. Was she afraid that he wouldn’t care? Was she afraid that he would ask, “how are you?” Was she afraid that she would be forced to answer, “I’m good, how about you?”
Jesus wasn’t tired of her pain. He really wanted to know how she was doing. He wanted to heal her.
I remember some dark days in college, where I struggled with depression and some issues from my past. I started telling people “how I was doing.” No one really wanted to hear. They wanted the “good” answer not the truth. I drove people away. My problems weren’t easy problems that a casserole would fix. My problems were big and messy.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
The Lord has healed me. He has comforted me. Even though I still struggle with depression, the Lord is always present. He sees me. He sees how I am really doing and he cares. God has never left me. He has never forsaken me.
“How are you doing?” He asks.
“Not good,” I reply.
Around Him, I don’t have to lie.