I hear rumours. Rumours that in other places of the world you can broach the topic of spiritual things without half of the audience expressing some kind of visible concern.
Why is it in our culture that it is such a struggle to “get into another person’s kitchen” when it comes to their spiritual life?
When we see people we haven’t seen in some time, we can catch up quickly. “Where are you living now?” “How’s so and so?” “Where are you working now?” We can talk about the future: “What are you plans now?” We can even get personal: “How’s your family?” Or more personal: “How’s your love life? Any prospects?” But how bizarre would we seem if we were to ask, “How’s your heart?”
Sadly, it is tough, even in most church settings to get past the old “How was your week?” routine. Why? It’s an overflow of such an impersonal, distanced, media-driven, keeping-up-appearances culture. Isn’t it bizarre that we can sit beside people listening to the Word of God being applied to our hearts for 45 minutes and then turn around and just say, “What’s for lunch?”
Maybe there’s more though… maybe the culture has become the way it has–with spirituality as one of the ultimate taboos–because we’re afraid that things might get messy. If I ask how someone is doing in their walk with Christ, maybe they’ll ask me back? Maybe I would have to admit that this past week has been a struggle. I haven’t loved my wife like I should’ve. I haven’t spent any time in prayer, and my Bible’s been collecting dust. Jesus seems far from me.
But who wants to admit that? It’s so much easier to just talk about the Jays and the weather.
Plus, what if I ask someone about the condition of their heart and they give me an answer that I disagree with? Am I allowed to say something about it, or do I smile and nod? After all, if I were to disagree, that would be making a truth-claim of some sort (heaven forbid). I would hate to appear as a know-it-all, or be characterized as one who thinks he has a “corner on the truth.”
Speaking of which, anyone catch the score of the game last night?