a few weeks ago, i went to church and took a seat in my sunday school class. i was exceptionally tired that morning and had some things on my mind, but once the lesson was completed, i went through the motions of social civility and engaged in conversation with those beside me. an older gentleman at my table, suddenly remarked to me, “that’s the first time I’ve seen you smile since you came in here!”
i was a bit taken aback by his comment (even though i should be used to it by now,) but went on to explain that i was tired, and wasn’t really conscious of the fact, but i assured him i was fine.
usually it stops there; but for some reason, he felt the need to go a little farther. “you need to smile more! that way people know you have the joy of the Lord! if you don’t, how else would they know?”
well, guess i missed that memo…
i proceeded to tell him – with all the composure i could muster – that i always have the joy of the Lord, but it generally resides down in my heart. while he remained to be convinced that happiness and joy was tied together, i told him that i wasn’t given to deceit, and wasn’t going to paste a smile on my face just for show.
maybe people expect that, especially when you walk through those doors on sunday morning. for some reason, it’s not safe to be vulnerable or honest. we have to put a show on for people…regardless of the fact that we’re never promised an easy road, that this world is full of evil, that we’ll be faced with daily heartache and hurt. for some reason, people have mixed up their definition of things. yes, there is a time and a place for things, but i would rather people see me being honest rather than fake. christians shouldn’t be deceptive in any way, shape or form. the world knows life isn’t easy, so why do some people pretend? why am i even having to explain myself?
more and more i’m becoming indifferent to what others think of me. i’m tired of being judged. tired of wondering if people are willing and capable enough to try and look past what may (or may not) be on the surface and see me for who i am. there are few people i know who seem to appreciate me for who i am, for what i am, and it’s those people i want to draw closer to…and that’s who i want to be. i want to see past the surface in people and appreciate who they are. i want to know them, just as i want people to know me. it takes effort, and i’m trying. i am what i am.
in the end, i know He knows me, and that’s all that matters to me, truly. that’s where my value is.
if you’re curious, here’s how the conversation concluded:
“so, you’re not a morning person, then?” he asked.
no i’m not.”