Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In Other Words: Finding Your True Smile

So with a painted grin,
I play the part again,
So everyone will see me
the way that I see them...
Are we happy plastic people,
under shiny plastic steeples,
With walls around our weakness
and smiles to hid our pain,
But if the invitation's open,
to every heart that has been broken,
Maybe then we'll close the curtain
on our stained glass masquerade...
~Casting Crowns in Stained Glass Masquerade~

Once upon a time, in a trailer park far away, a little girl stood waiting for a church bus to take her to Sunday school. She shifted excitedly from foot to foot and even skipped in circles a bit, unable to contain her excitement at getting to see the kind, smiling faces of the church lady and man who taught her class about Love with cookies and juice and flannel pictures of that Jesus guy.

The years passed quickly...different places and yet the smiling faces of the church ladies and men all seemed familiar.

Finally the girl was grown with her own little bundles of enthusiasm bouncing and running in excited circles in anticipation of cookies, juice, and flannel pictures of that Jesus guy while she tried to bathe and dress them and get them to Sunday school.

Slowly life started sapping her own enthusiasm...

Her smiles became harder to find. Still she pasted them on Sunday after Sunday.

Until one day...

She saw her reflection.

The familiar smile that didn't quite reach her eyes. She was reminded of other church ladies and men she'd met over the years, some she knew now...

The ones whose smiles eventually stopped at their lips.
O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest. ~Psalm 22:2
She mourned the loss of her joy smile, the one that comes from deep inside, bubbling up uncontrollable from head to toe.
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. ~Psalm 25:1
In her sadness she opened the Book of God-words. and she read...
To You, O Lord, I call;
My rock, do not be deaf to me. ~Psalm 28:1
and read...
In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Your righteousness deliver me.
Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly;
Be to me a rock of strength,
A stronghold to save me. ~Psalm 31:1-2
and read...
How blessed is [she] whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
How blessed is the [woman] to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit! ~Psalm 32:1-2
She sighed in relief, tiredness slowly draining away.
For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name. ~Psalm 33:21
Sometimes the effort to smile is still too much but the girl now first turns to the God-words because she discovered they are the source of the smiles and that Love she felt in the church so long ago.
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the [woman] who takes refuge in Him! ~Psalm 34:8

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry. ~Psalm 34:15
The Lord is near the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18

The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned. ~Psalm 34:22
In Other Words is being hosted by Loni at Writing Canvas. Please visit to read more and to post your own take on today's quote.


MiPa said...

Beautiful reminders from Scripture of how we can have genuine smiles on our faces as we go about our days instead of the plastic smiles that we sometimes force. Thank you so much for this post!

Claudia said...

Thank you for opening your heart - and the word of God - to us today. The Lord fills us with good things.

Nic said...

Oh, my dear sister, your words spoke to me, brought tears to my eyes, the promises, the beauty, the story b/c I know it full well. Thank you for your participation this week and your words. :-)

Michelle Bentham said...

Love your use of Scripture to demonstrates God's answer to our human tendancy to HIDE OUT!

I am always blessed when I stop by. I'm sorry I've been away so long. :)

"The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned." ~Psalm 34:22


Tami Boesiger said...

Thanks for the reminder of how the Word is a balm for our tired souls. Amen. Reading your post soothed me.

treasurefield said...

Wow, did that ever strike a chord!
Thank you for sharing from your heart, and for sharing God's heart. And thank God for letting me find your post!