A longtime-friend who is going through some difficult times right now, relating to the breakdown of his family, has been sharing with me, and I am saddened by this turn of events in his life. But, the interesting thing is, I had a great time of fellowship with him. Why? Because this was a REAL LIFE thing that he was going through, and I am thankful that he felt comfortable in sharing it with me and a small group of people.

Why are we not allowed to grieve? We have been given, by God, a whole range of emotions. Happiness. Sadness. Grief. And we are all called to bear one another’s burdens. How often do we do that?

I have some Christian friends (?) who often tell me to “smile more” and to “stop frowning”. Personally, I don’t get upset by the comment, because the way I look on a normal day, whether I am happy or not, I look like I’m frowning — that’s the way my face looks and I was born with that face. It’s the one God gave me. But in spite of this explanation, I kept being told that I needed to “cheer up”. Sometimes I hadn’t even said a word. Am I supposed to put on a “plastic smile” to make it appear that I am smiling, whether I was happy or not? Sheesh. Okay, maybe I’m picking nits, but it, for me, begs larger, more important questions.

Currently, I am going through some difficulties at home and in my personal life, and it is only recently that I felt comfortable in sharing this with various people. Why is that? What was it that I was struggling with? Sharing? Was that it? Have I been conditioned to NOT grieve just because I should appear “joyful” in front of everyone? Or was it just wondering if anyone really cared? And what things do others go through that I may be able to help or relate?

I remember one dear brother who shared with his church that his wife left him. Nobody knew how to deal with him, and he was shunned for several weeks before he sought solace at a different church family that actually cared and wanted to help. Is this right?

What is wrong with us?