The crack within the smile

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A smile is such a precious gift; a joy to behold. Most people love to smile or be smiled at. We want to be happy. We want to be filled with joy. Even when we pass through seasons when it appears that there is little to be joyful about, we still try as much as we can to just plaster a smile on our faces.

Smile so that people will not fathom the depth of the burden that you carry. Smile so that they do not dig deeper. Smile, just to go through the motions and get through the moment. Not every smile comes from the heart and like my friends will say as well, not every smile is from the eyes.

This really isn’t something new. The fact that the most joyful person you know can be the most depressed ever. Or the person may be dealing with such great pain that you begin to wonder how they are able to survive. It’s not new but yesterday I had to reflect on it a bit more. 

We had a Prophet in our church and the man was spot on with his declarations and all. I mean at some point it was spooky. I’ve never seen a Prophet who has been that accurate. Anyway that is not why we are here. So he went to some people and said some things about them which they confirmed were true. I was amazed. Looking at these people, you will never have guessed that they were passing through such. I mean, they were heavy stuff.

I remember passing by shortly before the service started and overhearing one of the people the Prophet called out cracking jokes and making a group people laugh hysterically. I remember a few weeks ago when one of the ladies he spoke to was such a bundle of happiness. I tried to match their countenance with the problems being called out and there was a mismatch. It didn’t make sense.

And then I heard the words, “Choose joy.” I smiled because I understood. Not everybody that you see with a smile is living a problem free-life. They have just chosen not to be defeated by their problems. Not everyone who cracks jokes has no care in the world. They have decided to place their focus on something else instead of their problems. Some of them have chosen to hold on to the joy of the Lord.

However there are those, who have a crack within the smile but they do not want you to notice that crack. I know because I do it sometimes. They act like they have it all together. They laugh with reckless abandon but at night their pillow is drenched in a waterfall of tears. Morning comes, and they get back into that act. Such people want to cry for help but they don’t know how or they don’t know who to cry to. Such people need love, concern…care.

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Let’s be mindful of these people. I know we often say “How are you” to fulfil all righteousness but next time you say it, can you really mean it? Can you be patient enough to realise that the smile this person is giving you is not that deep? Can you pick it from their voice when they talk to you over the phone? Can spare some time to listen, to observe and to just be there? It’s easy to take these things for granted but we must care enough to discover the cracks within the smiles of those that we love. We just have to. I nearly lost a family member because I shrugged off the feeling that something was amiss. I sensed it. I felt it in my spirit but I didn’t have the time to probe further. Thank God for His mercies. It would have been a different story today.

This week, be your brother’s keeper for real. Watch out for your sister. Stand with them. Pray for them. And most importantly love them and let them know that they are loved and cared for. Share someone’s burden with them and lift a load that may be too much for them to handle.

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