Proverbs 15:13 “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”
One of the most hurtful things this pandemic has caused is our ability to see each other’s faces.
Some say the eyes are the window to the soul, but the mouth gives away what we’ll see inside. I have always seen the smile as an open invitation. A smile may a painted mask hiding pain, sorrow, or loss. But, more often than not, a smile will allow you to come closer for further inspection.
We can experience the sorrow of the heart, sorrow of the mind, and sorrow of spirit.
Leviticus 26:16 “I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.”
Deuteronomy 28:65 “And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:”
1 Samuel 1:15 “And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.”
We can be swallowed up with sorrow.
2 Corinthians 2:7 “So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.”
With masks on every face, how are we to smile and let the world know that we approve, accept, and love them?
We have all seen the smiling face of a child, heard their belly-laugh, and giggle their way through their playtime. Yet, so many lose their playfulness on the way to adulthood. I will not debate the mask issue, but I do want to share what God shared with me this morning.
COVID and the isolation that came afterward has put stress and strain on normal relationships and caused us to rethink simple interactions such as greeting one another in the store, exchanging pleasantries while walking, or just talking neighborly over the fence.
We have had to rethink gatherings of friends, family, work, and church.
In dealing with all of this going on around us, a smile would let you know that we’re doing well even though we are going through a hard time.
A smile lets us know that we are glad to see you.
A smile shows our approval.
A smile is a door to love, acceptance, and security.
A smile let you know that my heart is light.
But that upturned movement of your lips doesn’t happen when our hearts are filled with grief, hatred, or sorrow. We may try, but our face gives us away.
Our passage this morning says, ‘a merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.’ Which tells me that a smile is a direct reflection of what’s inside. Masks hide all that.
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
When we purpose to keep our hearts clean, God smiles at us. We cannot hide or trick God. He knows how many hairs are on our heads. He sees all and knows all.
As we start this week, let’s start with a clean slate (heart).