Do you like questions being asked of you?
I don’t think any of us like that feeling of potential shame and exposure.
Ever since Adam hid himself from the gentle questions of a loving God we have chosen to avoid, hide and lie to camouflage the obviousness of a problem.
I don’t like my inner world being exposed. I prefer to present an image of acceptability.
There is rot in me.
We are all in a state of recovery. We are exposed to the harshness of life outside of the scented garden of Gods presence. We get wafts, tastes, and glimpses but we know we are not there yet.
A question is asked.
‘How are you?’
How deep is this question though? Is it a question of compassionate desiring to know. Or is it a question to give a solution, to throw a band-aid over a gaping wound, or to just fill the air with words.
The question is a expression of being ‘with you’.
Everyone that is serious about recovery is open
to having questions asked of them.
Not just the light fluffy questions, but the ones that go deep into the soul of the addiction, abuse, trauma, and indeed life itself.
The Biblical character of Nehemiah begins his journey of recovery for the city of Jerusalem by asking a question.
The city of Jerusalem had been ransacked by King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. No longer the glorious city it once was, it was now open and exposed. It had been ransacked, walls pulled down and protective gates burned. The delight of Jerusalem was but a memory. Its people led away as slaves to a foreign land.
To give an emotional connection to how destitute the city was, consider the victim of a brutal crime such as in the story of the Good Samaritan.
Jesus described the man as being robbed, beaten and left for dead. Perhaps this would have described the heart of Jerusalem. This city and its people needed someone to ask questions of its soul. Questions that would require a personalized heart response of stepping down into the ditch of their pain.
Nehemiah asks the heart question.
The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. Nehemiah 1:1, 2
Nehemiah asks questions both of the people and the place. We don’t have the full set of questions and we don’t know how long the conversation went on for.
What we do know is that he asked.
Why do we not ask questions?
Perhaps it is because we fear that the answer might create a level of being uncomfortable . That we will have to look at ourselves and recognize that we too don’t have it all together.
Not every question needs an answer, it just needs to be asked.
The question reflects the heart, a desire to be with the other.
Quote to ponder over
Most people go through their entire lives never speaking words to another human being that come out of what is deepest in them, and most people never hear words that reach all the way into that deep place we call the soul…
We almost never hear words that stir life within us, that pour hope into those empty spaces deep inside filled only with fear and frustration.
We rarely hear words that draw our soul into the soul of another human being and, together, into God. Dr. Larry Crabb
Questions to consider
- Do you have people who ask you questions?
- Do you ask others questions that you would like to be asked?
- What encourages a questioning heart?
- Why do you think recovery and relationships are so closely linked?
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