How Are You A-Doin’?

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On a recent Sunday morning, a lady asked me, “How are you a-doin’?” (translated “How are you?” or “How are you doing?” or “How do you do?” for those of you north of the Mason-Dixon line). She was not trying to sound Southern. She was just being herself. As those who have read Daily Encouragement for a while know, I enjoy my native tongue, also known as Southern English. Very few of the people I know still speak the Appalachian version I heard that morning. I’d like to hear it more.

I was a-doin’ fine, so I said so. When I was a little girl, the grownups I knew didn’t greet children with “How are you?” They saved that greeting for other grownups. I was glad. I didn’t know how to answer it. Sometimes I still don’t. How many people really mean the question anyway? Isn’t it nice when someone really does mean it and you really can tell them and they really do care what you say? Has anyone ever asked you that question and then hardly given you a chance even to say “Fine.” You knew they weren’t inviting you to share any joys or sorrows. They weren’t likely to be a good and caring listener if you tried. That doesn’t feel so nice.

Marriages get into trouble when one spouse doesn’t know how the other one is a-doin’. Children get into trouble when their parents don’t know how they are a-doin’. Caring about how folks are a-doin’ is one way to be like Jesus. Knowing how folks are a-doin’ is to be even more like Him. That takes caring so much that you find out.

A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another,
even as I have loved you,
that you also love one another.
John 13:34, NASB

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