You probably know some. You probably are one...at least sometimes. The times when someone asks how you are and you answer fine, probably even with a smile. We may then ask, "How are YOU?" and get a similar response. Maybe even with a smile. OR maybe the other person is a bit (or a lot) more comfortable actually letting you know how they are. Maybe you ask on a day that person really needs to talk. OR maybe we let it go at fine and a nod of the head and we're both on our way wondering does anybody really care anyway?
In our surface, solve everything in less than an hour (sit-com, drama, psych appointments) or 30 seconds (commercials), 140 character (Twitter) world, most people will let you go at fine and continue on with the conversation or a smile, hug, or even "I'll pray for you" and continue on with the day wondering does anybody really care anyway?
We become smile hiders. We hide behind a smile when we really feel like crying or laughing like a maniac, but we don't do that because what if people see us as weird or crazy? So you hold it in. And you smile and you wonder does anybody really care anyway?
Wouldn't the world be a better place if we take time, ('cuz we can't MAKE time), to really LISTEN and see past the smile? If you're not sure, ASK! To slow down enough to NOTICE when someone doesn't really look like they mean it? To show that somebody really DOES care? To share and know that we do NOT walk alone, for a hug, and a prayer....not later, but NOW!?!?!?!
Maybe we can practice. L.A.N.D. Listen/look. Ask. Notice. Do.
It can be uncomfortable to REALLY listen to someone else share their story. However, in the sharing there is usually something you learn about yourself too.
Especially now.....in our surface, solve everything in less than an hour or 30 seconds, 140 character world: Become a person that can truly answer YES, SOMEBODY CARES! Stop hiding behind the smile! Become a person that can truly answer YES I KNOW SOMEONE CARES!
I've been a smile hider and I know I've met some along this journey of life. We ALL need somebody sometimes. We are not meant to be alone. We are meant to be a community. In fellowship with other humans. Sometimes it's scary to reach out and not know if somebody will see past the smile. Sometimes you just have to take the risk. I have met some of my very best friends that way.
Psalm 139:11-12 (NIV) If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
1 Peter 3:8 (NIV) Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.