I've been thinking about this post over at Segullah. It's pretty amazing when you hear the stories of the questions that people are willing to ask -- about dating, marriage, pregnancy -- things that are pretty personal and definitely charged. They evoke some of our strongest feelings, both spiritual and emotional. They reflect the many challenges that come with mortality and the messiness that comes with the gift of agency.
And so on one hand, I really understand the frustration about personal questions being asked on a dime. I doubt there are many women who haven't experienced this, and we've probably all experienced it multiple times.
I can't stop thinking about the fact that even such insensitive questions could be springboards for more hearts-knit-together-like sisterhood if we would let them. Yes, people should probably mind their own business, but where is the harm of gently sharing a bit of our lives with each other? Couldn't we help others have more compassion by sharing some of our difficulties in these areas of our lives?
I definitely have my horror stories with these things. "Why aren't you married yet?" was a question I got when I was single. I was criticized (or pitied) openly for having three children so close together. And then when we didn't have any more, questions came about why we weren't having more.
But as I noted over in the comments, I have found that a simple answer that helps people understand my life and heart a little more typically goes a long way -- AND it helps me keep from getting frustrated or feeling offended. After all, it's hard to feel love for each other if we are harboring grudges.
I didn't want to pontificate too much in the thread because I really do see both sides and I don't want to trample on tender feelings. And yet, it's those very tender feelings that I think could help people understand more about how complicated life can be, and give opportunities for those in pain to actually receive some support. I think most people really don't mean to be insensitive. Maybe we can give them a chance?
Maybe it's in part because I'm afraid of being that person at times (sometimes we all say and do dumb things) and I would sure appreciate some mercy and an opportunity to repent and try again -- with that person I may have inadvertently offended!