February 24, 2023

Masking Grief

Proverbs 14:13

Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief.

—  Proverbs 14:13

In my personal Bible at home, I often mark up verses that I want to be able to find later. I highlight and underline, make notations in the margins, and write cross-references to other passages.

Next to Proverbs 14:13 I have drawn a little star to note that this passage is special.

“Even in laughter the heart may ache.” Have you ever had the experience of putting on a smile for others, and yet inside you had a deep well of emotions and grief? At social events you might even genuinely have a good time, but later, when you’re alone again, the grief and tears can all come flooding back.

This proverb reminds me that we never know what someone might be going through, no matter how cheerful they may seem. Humans are very good at masking their emotions. But we can learn from the example set by Jesus.

He wept on his way to the tomb of a dear friend (John 11:35). He was overwhelmed with grief and sorrow as he prepared to die for us (Matthew 26:38).

Jesus’ acquaintance with grief gave him insight and empathy for others who were grieving.

God is able to use us too in our times of brokenness to show others the love and care of Jesus.

God of all comfort, only you know the deep aches we have in our hearts. Help us to be attuned to the griefs and hurts of others and to show your love and care, as Jesus would. Amen.

About the author — Jenna Fabiano

Jenna Fabiano is an ordained minister and pastor at Willoughby Church in Langley, British Columbia. She and her family live in nearby Coquitlam, B.C.

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