"Smile, make them think you're happy
Lie, and say that things are fine.
And hide that empty longing that you feel
Don't ever show it, just keep your heart concealed"*
Last week I was having a rough day. I hadn't slept well. I was fighting a cold. My husband was on day 2 of migraine. I had to re-arrange my work schedule to drop Aidan off at his weekly play group. In other words, life was just overwhelming that day.
When I took Munchie to his class, I was on the verge of tears. Someone asked how I was doing. I lied. "Doing good." The lyrics above started playing in my head. It was hard to hold the tears back. Then I had to stop at the church office to drop some stuff off. One of our pastors was in there. He asked how things were going. I lied. "Fine!" Again, the lyrics haunted me. I went to my car and cried. "Liar, Liar! Pants of Fire" rang in my ears.
Why do we do that? Why do we "lie, and say that things are fine"? I know sometimes people ask the questions and don't expect (or want!) an honest answer. They are merely being cordial. It's a form of greeting. Intended as nothing more than "hello".
But, what about when people really do care? My pastor would have taken time to pray with me. Munchie's teacher would have offered me a hug. But I didn't give them the opportunity to bless me. Did I rob them of the chance to serve Christ by reaching out to me?
I don't think we need to give a full account of our lives when people ask, "How are you?" But, if we are hurting, maybe it's time to start admitting it.
(*Wayne Watson: Friend of a Wounded Heart)