Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Scared to Death of Smiling - Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

I ride the Metro bus from downtown Los Angeles out to the Valley. People get off, people get on. No one smiles. No one looks directly at anyone else. Mostly they stare, mesmerized in their own private thoughts. Some anesthetize themselves with earphones that tune them into a different world. If you live in a big city, you understand the averted eyes. You know the fear. So many people, so close together, and scared to death of smiling.

I see many people on board, some in uniforms, others with packages from shopping. Still others carrying books to or from a class. But no smiles.

A smile is a sign of humanity. A sign that we are willing to communicate. That our sadness, no matter how deep, will not overcome us. But for many on that bus journey, there is no joy. Their lives, I suppose, are full of pain and hopelessness.
Trapped.
Trapped in dead-end jobs they do not like.
Trapped in a cycle of unemployment and welfare.
Trapped in marriages.
Trapped in singleness.
Trapped in divorce.
Trapped in widowhood.
Trapped in life.
Trapped.
And without a smile.

A smile, too, is a sign of hope. Of hope in another person. Of trust. If I smile at you, if I let my personality bridge the distance between us in a packed city bus, perhaps you'll smile back. Perhaps you'll connect with me. And so I smile in hope, and am met with eyes turned away, of body language that protects itself from those closest by, with a posture designed to avoid contact, personal contact, on a crowded bus.

Tears Are A Language God Understands - Travis Wiginton

In II Corinthians 1:4-7:
"God comforts us in all our troubles...
so that we can comfort those in any trouble,
with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives,
so also through Christ, our comfort overflows.

Here are several Bible characters who share with us through their tears:
1) Jeremiah's tears (Jeremiah 8: 20-9:1)
He wept over the sins of the people, however before he did this...
he had wept over his own sins and had received God's forgiveness.

2) Jesus' tears- John 11: 30-38:
He wept with Mary and Martha over the death of their brother, Lazarus.

Sometimes the most we can do for someone in grief is to:
be near with tears...
prayers...
Scripture...
Or a hug.
Let God lead

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