If You See Something, Say Something
I recently had another physical. So. Much. Fun. Nothing says “have an incredible day!” like stepping on a scale, walking from the bathroom with a warm cup, and giving 26 pounds of blood. I use to think it couldn’t get any worse. Then I turned 40. Now I hate – HATE – plastic gloves.
Have you ever noticed they (nurse, lab tech, the one giving you the colonoscopy of questions) always asks if you have lost or gained more than 10 lbs in the last 30 days (or something like that)? I wondered why this was a question, AFTER they made me get on that blasted machine that always seems round up a good 25 lbs. You know why they ask it? Because rapid weight loss or gain could be an indication of something serious going on. Usually, rapid weight gain or loss is never good. It indicates a problem. It reveals a bigger, deeper issue that would need to be explored.
I had not lost or gained 10 lbs within the last 30 days. Though getting off the scale put me close to the “gaining 10 lbs” side answer to the question and made me wish I had stopped after my fourth helping of brisket last week. There has been no rapid weight loss or gain with Matt Pearson. Thankfully.
But this did get me thinking. There are signs I see from time to time that indicate something deeper and more drastic is going on in people’s lives, spiritually. There are practices I observe that – if I ask the question, or pay attention – will usually reveal a need for a friend, a pastor, a prayer-warrior, help, etc.
Here are a few practices observed, learning something deeper is often going on:
- Less and less consistency at corporate worship.
- Excuses for not showing up to serve on a particular Sunday (sick, out of town, kids, etc.).
- Distance in camaraderie when face to face.
- Change in frequency of response to calls, texts, emails.
- Tension and/or distance between spouses.
- Change in giving habits.
Please understand. Any and all of the above can happen and people have very legitimate and right and good reasons. However, when a few of these begin to pile up and something seems “off,” it means something probably is.
My doctor’s nurse asked me if I had lost or gained 10 lbs within the last 30 days. She wanted to know if something deeper was going on. We need to notice and ask each other similar, spiritual questions. If you see something, say something.
- I haven’t seen you much recently at church. Everything okay? If you see something, say something.
- That’s not like you to be sick on a Sunday you are committed to serve? Something I should know about? If you see something, say something.
- Is it just me, or does it feel tense when we talk? You seem distant. Have I done something? If you see something, say something.
- Can we grab lunch or coffee? I haven’t heard from you as frequently as I like. We need to catch up. If you see something, say something.
- Is everything okay between you and your spouse? It seems like there is some noticeable distance. Is it just me? If you see something, say something.
Part of the beauty of church membership is being and providing loving safety nets for each other. All of us are going to have times and seasons where we begin to get off track. We need to know that if someone sees something, in love, they will say something to help us not wander too far. Your question, your inquiry, your discernment might be just what that person needs to get out of a rut. Or, you may be a stop gap the Lord uses to prevent someone from spiraling out of control. We don’t need to be the “sin police” or always looking for how to “keep one another in line.” But we do need to be reminded we are all sheep. And we do need to be aware.
If you see something, say something.