How’s Your Heart: Questions from Michelle Beckman
Michelle Beckman’s memorial service was beautiful, like Michelle. Tears, laughter, insight. We saw into the life of this amazing woman. And we saw how she used questions to always turn the conversation to “you” and how “you” were doing.
A few weeks before Michelle left for her new home in Heaven, I had a delightful two hours with her. She seemed to have some energy, and every time I said I should leave, she said, “Please stay.” And every time I tried to ask the questions so I could hear how she was, she said talking made her tired, and she asked me another question. As person after person told of Michelle’s impact on their lives—and on so many others—it became clear that she had an amazing gift to draw people out, to discern needs, to mention just the right Scriptures, to have the most encouraging response, to pray the best prayer.
Questions were her currency.
I have gathered here—from a Facebook question I asked--some of the questions Michelle frequently used to get to the heart of every person she encountered. She almost always began with, “How’s your heart?”
Stacey: She always asked me "how can I pray for you?" This would be a question asked even without the deep conversation but more of a "hey! How are you?" kind of thing.
Lori: But it probably still made you pause and think. Because you can't answer that question with, "I'm fine" it made you be sincere with her because she didn't ask you the typical How are you?
Katie: Michelle was real---she could ask questions and get answers, because she shared her struggles and her life as well.
Kelly: How are you and Jesus doing? How is your heart? How did (insert something in my life here) go? How are you feeling about that? Where is Jesus meeting you in this?
(Insert affirmation here)
(Insert Michelle sharing vulnerably from her life experience here)
I hear you saying _________. ^This one is key, because this is how Michelle always always showed me she was not only listening, but she cared and understood.
How can I pray for you? Let's pray right now (enter into extended time of specific prayer).
Lori: Kelly, those were great. I love how you outlined a typical conversation.
Shawna: How is your heart? What are you learning? What has He been saying to you lately?
Joy: Always asked me 'how's your heart'! Loved it. Because she really wanted to hear the answer!
Bethany: "Where is God in this?" It was always a hard question to answer, but answering it always revealed a whole lot of truth to my heart. I don't remember the follow up, but I believe it was something like, "Where do you want him to be?"
Bethany: Yes, it usually came when I was dealing with something hard. Her response was always to listen intently and then, when the time was right, to relate her experiences to mine with "hope on the horizon" as she put it.
Naomi: If I was fighting back tears, not letting them come, she wouldn't let me get away with it. She would acknowledge and draw me out. Something to the effect of, "It looks like you have tears in your eyes. What's behind those?"
I’m sure other friends could add more questions.
I’m missing Michelle—I was used to seeing her almost weekly. But, of course, I am rejoicing at her joy! And hoping I can practice more of what she lived.
What about you? What questions do you ask?
C2016 Judy Douglass
You can watch a video of her memorial service here.
Related post: Kingdom Women: Michelle Beckman