Yesterday I was chatting with someone whom I don't really know very well. This girl (let's call her R) is one of the most sunshiny, joyous, loveable people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. When she comes into a room, she just lights up the whole place with her joy and energy! She's perpetually smiling and enthusiastic and just nice to talk to because of these things.
I used to think that she was exactly what a Christian should be - someone who, just by the way they are, makes people wonder, "What do you have that I don't have? Where does your joy come from? I want the same thing too - can you show/ teach me how to have it in my life?" Except she's not a Christian!
So anyway, as we were walking, I asked her if she lives alone since we were both heading towards the grocery store, and usually those who live at home don't need to do their own grocery shopping. A shadow crossed her face as she explained that she lived at home but that her dad was a stroke patient and he couldn't move.
I was pretty surprised and asked her, "He can't move at all?". Her face was sad without a trace of its usual sparkle as she said, "No, not at all."
She smiled again as we waved goodbye and parted in the store.
I can't get that out of my mind somehow. I swear, you would look at this girl and think she is the luckiest, happiest, probably the most pampered girl you've ever met simply because of the joy that she has all the time. But... she has sadness, and trouble and heartache too...
I wonder how many people hide heartache behind the beautiful smiles they wear day in and day out? And how encouraging it is to know that many succeed in not bringing their difficulties and trouble and spread misery to others, but instead choose to lift their troubles to God and share joy instead.