I find I am not up to company in which I cannot be myself today. What a dreadful thing to have to say about church, of all places. But I heard it yesterday...the reactions when I replied, "Fine," without any accompanying exuberance to the question, "How are you today?".
"Only fine?" one person said.
"That doesn't sound like you," said another.
I had attended my first Al-Anon meeting in the morning and the reality of that was still clinging to me, giving me comfort but also making me very aware of this new journey on which I was embarked. There the masks were dropped...there, we were encouraged to be fully ourselves.
Well, I don't want to have to put on a mask in order to be in company, so it is easier to stay by myself on this Epiphany Sunday, to read & write & think & pray. There is email for contact, and the phone if I want to hear another's voice.
Just makes me feel incredibly sad that the message seems to be that we ought to be up, up, up when we are at church, wearing a pasted-on smiley face, even when inside our heart is breaking. What about, "Come to me, you who are heavy-laden and I will give you rest"? Mighty hard to hear that Voice when all around are the chirping voices of good cheer- and the smiles! (which may be covering how many other breaking hearts?)
I know I'm being judgmental...sorry, God, but I can't do it today. And even though my heart is beginning to heal, I cannot risk having the tender new scab torn off by the unrelenting cheerfulness which abounds within those walls. I am hurting still- and so my own lovely blue walls will form my chapel today, my still-decorated tree reminding me of the significance of this day of Making Known. And I will sit with the One Who Knows without once having to smile or explain myself.