the two more questions of soul care

I remember a time when Emily was standing in line at Starbucks and bumped into an acquaintance.

The conversation was typical chit-chat for a minute but sensing something more, Emily decided to ask two more questions.

The quality of these questions reflected a willingness to understand what was beneath the surface. She attempted to understand where this person was and to witness what was happening in that woman's soul.

There's too much pain and frustration in our world to keep avoiding deeper conversations.

Ours souls are not made to outrun our pain but embrace it. And we can't do that alone.

We have to be willing to ask those around us two more questions. These are two questions that don't add to small talk but open a door tolarger talk.

It takes the conversation to a deeper place.

The truth is, it's more efficient to avoid curious questions. And sometimes it's not the right time to go deeper. Chit chat serves a good surface purpose but true community can't live there.

In asking two more questions, we move from friendly curiosity to a loving presence. This is soul care at it's best.

Ask how she is holding up under the pressure of her current circumstance.

Find out what's bothering him beneath all his hectic activity.

Be curious about how she feels about her new normal or her difficult transition.

Seek to understand why he is feeling insecure.

Ask what Scriptures are quietly lingering in the back of her mind.

In asking two more questions, you just might find a glitch in the matrix.

Curious questions can disrupt the false rhythm of our busy, lonely, and hurting lives. Together we can wake up to what God may have for us.

A conversation like this can become an encounter with God. Soul care has been described as following Jesus into the everyday life of another. It means joining Christ in uncovering His presence in the midst of a difficult, tiresome or mundane day.

The reason I may not ask two more questions is because I fear stirring something up I can't handle. "If I ask this question and they answer, then what?!"

I often shy away from moving into someone's difficulties because I fear it will expose my inadequacy.

But there is too much private pain around for us to be self-protective. Enough is enough. Our communities must be pushed toward authenticity and vulnerability with a raw movement toward Christ.

The exercise of asking two more questions is a process that helps people feel seen, known and invited into true spiritual community.

My work is described as both soul care and discipleship. Spirit-led questions enable a person to discover truths that free the soul and stir up Christ in them.

My passion is to help people experience Christ in the everyday, to provide spiritual answers to life's difficulties, and opportunities for people to grow in their freedom in Christ.

As I approach the end of my third year in this ministry, here are the primary groups of people I work with:

    •    Young men (ages 12-35)
    •    Young couples (relational and premarital pastoral counseling)
    •    Families (parents of of K-12th graders)
    •    Ministry workers and pastors
    •    Communities who invite me to teach on our everyday walk with Christ

Please pray for this work here in Greensboro.

I leave you with these words from Jesus as he encountered the lonely, paralyzed man stuck by the so-called healing waters:

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" (John 5:6)

Love to you,