I really don’t remember asking but I must have. It would have been the courteous thing to do and I’m sure that’s how it started. One minute I’m asking the man, an alcoholic in a rehabilitation program, “How you doing?” and the next he’s telling me about hemorrhoids. Just how do you say, “No, really. I don’t need to know.”
My husband says I have a sign. Actually, he calls it a beacon. One that lights up and only certain people see it. These are the people who tell me things I don’t want to know.
In another location where we were pastoring a church I asked a teenager the same question. The troublesome, “How are you today?” Her answer was most surprising as she said quite directly, “My cervix hurts”. Honestly, I couldn’t make this stuff up. She was in a bible study group being led by a college student, male, who gave me a rather blank expression. I was the new one here so I suppose he’d heard things like this from her before.
Being in ministry it’s not only the polite thing but it seems it’s even my job to ask people how they’re doing but I find myself praying silently at the same time, “please, don’t tell me.”
Perhaps I look too concerned or too caring. Maybe I need to smile less, not look at people in the eye so much?
Of course I can’t do that, most of the time. Only to the ones who want to tell me about physical ailments no one needs to hear!
This is my first link up with Just Write at The Extraordinary Ordinary. A collective of sharing everyday stories written “in the moment”