Men Are Tough
At least they are up to a point. I’ve seen men injured and yet soldier on with true grit to finish the game, I did it in High School. However, in other aspects of life, men are not so much for toughness.
A True Gentleman?
If we are hurting our conditioning trains us to not speak of it, especially if its emotional pain. Being a gentleman calls us to never cause discomfort to another. So, a gentleman doesn’t seek sympathy. Unless of course we are sick or have a cold, then we call for Mama.
Yesterday at Church
Sunday morning I wasn’t feeling well. I felt ill and was down emotionally due to some deaths/funerals I was facing, and some other things. But we preachers are a tough bunch. We play hurt. We tighten our belts and do our jobs. I didn’t know if anyone could tell, but I was hiding how I was feeling and pretending to be fine.
Besides, there’s nothing worse than a whiny preacher.
But a friend saw beneath the facade and asked how I was doing. The asking was laced with concern. So, I said that I wasn’t doing well and explained why. My friend offered encouragement and useful advice and then said this,
“Thank you for telling me, for telling the truth about how you are really doing.”
That stopped me in my tracks, kept me stuck to the ground.
“Thank you for telling me the truth.”
In that moment I wondered how many times through the decades of Sunday mornings I’ve walked into church masking my struggles and heartaches.
I’m compensated for serving the people and responsible for an uplifting service and a decently encouraging message. Everyone employed has to deliver when they are paid to deliver. Even preachers.
Frankly it was liberating to tell a friend at a Sunday service how I was doing. And it may be a stretch to believe, but I’m rarely asked that question. It’s my job to ask how everyone else is doing.
I get it.
But I’m doing better this morning, thank you.