Pain Behind the Smile

Sometimes it is good to simply smile! The action can help you feel better even if just for a moment.

However, sometimes I feel like the Psalmist in Psalm 73, “My flesh and my heart may fail…..” Just sometimes I simply do not feel like smiling. It hurts too much. Or I feel so numb. Maybe I see the beauty around me and I long to smile, and know that my Creator has made something wonderful but I cannot feel the beauty. Occasionally I have walked into church and I have put the switch on, yes, the one on the side of my mouth, and just simply smiled. My insides were crying.

I can now with tremendous joy say the end of the verse, “…but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” My smiles usually match the state of my heart and insides. I suppose today they would call this being “authentic,” “transparent,” or “real.”

When we meet people, especially in our field of work, there is tremendous pain. Sometimes it is very uncomfortable to allow people to be real in their pain, face up to what is really going on in their hearts and souls. Coming alongside in these moments in the gentleness, patience and comfort of our Savior allows people not to be alone in their suffering and maybe they will have a chance one day, like me, to have their smiles match what is really going on inside, the genuine joy of the Lord, which indeed is our strength!!

May the life of the Lord Jesus Christ in us bring healing and hope to those around us!

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