Nancy and I were talking the other afternoon.
“You aren’t smiling,” she said.
It was an observation, not a criticism. I started to explain why: tired from a long run, project with a looming deadline, worried. But there was no good reason, no explanation that was satisfactory for why I was sitting with my spouse not smiling.
That moment came to me on Monday when I was out running again, listening to Seth Godin on the TED Radio Hour talking about how we notice things that are different, not the same.
And I realized that we might notice a person who identified as Christian, who remembered phrases from the Bible about contentedness and forgiveness and compassion, and who then contentedly showed compassion and forgave. It would make a striking contrast from the loud public image to have such a person in each family or neighborhood or office.
Which is why I remembered Nancy’s comment. I was frowning because I was judging myself, I wasn’t resting, I wasn’t content. I wasn’t accepting compassion.
I teach it all the time. I offer it all the time. But only as I believe that God’s understanding extends to me, will I start to smile again.