“Y’all All Right?”

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It’s been three weeks since I’ve been in town on a Sunday, so I enjoyed catching up with friends at Helen’s Restaurant yesterday afternoon. It was a joy to see person after person stopping by to see Dr. Jack, who sat with his family at one of the two big tables in the center of the main room. Dr. Jack served Gainesboro as a physician for  decades before he retired and moved with his wife to nearby Cookeville at the request of his children.

We’ve been concerned about Dr. Jack, now a widower in his nineties, because his health has not been very good in recent months. This is the second time this summer we have gotten to see him at Helen’s. Both times he has looked great and been his friendly, vibrant self, showing his care and concern for Ray and me and our family and for all the others who stopped by his table to say hello.

Dr. Jack is really Dr. Jack Johnson, but I don’t remember ever hearing anyone call him Dr. Johnson. We all love him and call him Dr. Jack, which is respectful and fitting for this kind, outgoing, and compassionate man.

One lady whom Ray and I don’t know was making her rounds from table to table giving greetings as we have learned to do. When she came to the table beside us, she asked Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, whom we do know, “Y’all all right?”

I turned to Ray and said in a low voice, “‘Y’all all right?’ is the Jackson County ‘How are you?'” I love that greeting.

After hearing her, I got to thinking about how people around here express their concern not only for the person they are greeting but also for that person’s loved ones. A common follow-up question is, “How’s your family?”

The simple questions, “Y’all all right?” and “How’s your family?” reveal a concern for other people. Teaching our children to be concerned for others is one of our highest priorities as Christian parents.

Jesus is, of course, our perfect example. He was never selfish. We can’t even imagine Jesus being selfish. He lived His whole life with two priorities: honoring His Father and making sure that people were absolutely all right. On the Cross, He gave His life to give every person the opportunity to be all right forever.

In every moment Jesus lived on earth and in that ultimate sacrifice of Himself, He lived out the two greatest commandments, which He stated in this way:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the great and foremost commandment.
The second is like it,
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:36-38

In Jesus we see a living picture of how to obey those two foremost commandments. In the rest of the New Testament, we learn key words that also instruct us in how to follow them. As homeschooling parents, you are free to include this teaching in your children’s education every day through biographies, through volunteering, through stories, through the gentleness of watchful and loving parenting, and in many other ways.





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