“How are you doing?” my dear friend asked while passing by after church ended. “Good,” I quickly replied assuming it was a polite hello rather than a genuine request. But, as my feet continued on, our eyes locked and caused both of us to pivot around face to face. “No, really, HOW are you doing?”
Startled by the sincerity of the moment, I quickly became aware of my increasing heart beat that moments ago was pumping blood at an inconspicuous rate. In that brief moment, that innocent question turned intrusive and frightening for I knew the answer but doubted whether it would be received well.
Hesitantly, he walks into the room full of youthful activity; balls bouncing, teen girls giggling, and the stench of sweaty boys fills the air. Loud music competes for the attention of all.
Glancing to the left he sees a huddle of teens. Panning the room, he sees established groups of kids going back and forth between their chosen activity and staring at their phone and intensely replying to a text, Facebook post, Instagram picture or whatever has drawn their attention away from the flesh and blood that stands before them.
Unnoticed by all, he bravely makes his way around the room, looking for an opportunity to “break into” the conversation or action. But his shyness and awkwardness hold him back. Courage fades and a sudden urge appears to find an excuse, any excuse to get out. The battle within himself rages and consumes his focus.