The first day I heard this song, “The Track of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles I was instantly drawn to the lyrics. I’ll share with you for those who have never heard this song:
People say I’m the life of the party
Because I tell a joke or two
Although I might be laughing loud and hearty
Deep inside I’m blue
So take a good look at my face
You’ll see my smile looks out of place
If you look closer, it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears
As someone who has suffered from depression at various stages in my life, the words of this song ring true. Many times I have had to keep up appearances simply because it is easier than trying to explain to everyone why I am sad. For crying out loud half the time I do not even know why I am sad. And yet people who “know” me will never believe I have struggled with depression.
I think of all those times I have been in church, my heart so heavy, my mind spinning out of control because I have so much turmoil within me; barely holding on to my dignity for fear of breaking down and sobbing like a baby; part of me praying, hoping that God will use someone to speak a word of encouragement to me, that someone will discern that I was in distress and just give me a hug! The service ends and people greet me “how are you my sister?” “how’s the family?” while barely making eye contact. Sometimes even before I can respond, they have moved on to the next person saying their hellos as they make their way out of church. If only they looked closer, they would see the tracks of my tears behind the smile, the sorrow in my eye behind all that luscious mascara.
Being intentional about loving others means we take the time to STOP, look another in the eye and ask, “How are you doing?” and in that moment devote all attention to listening not just to words but to the heart of that person.
I think of the good Samaritan who helped the man bleeding and dying on the Jericho road. He did not just help; He did not just say, “how are you?” and keep walking. He stopped, and noticed the tears… the sorrow… the hunger…the nakedness (physical and spiritual)…the guilt… the shame…the deep seated need… He saw that the man was wounded and he bound up the wounds, pouring on oil and wine (Luke 10:25-29). and Jesus is saying to you today:
“Go and do likewise.” Like 10:37
God is calling us to pour oil and wine into the lives of our neighbors, our friends, our coworkers, our subordinates, our classmates, strangers; to bind up their wounds; to bring healing to every life we come into contact with; to build and not tear down each other. He is calling us to the highest place of love…
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, Love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27 NIV
P.S. if you are feeling a little down right now, Jesus wants you to know He knows all about your struggles and has wrapped you in his loving arms. And this is what He says to you right now: “I have loved you with an everlasting love” Jeremiah 31:3 NIV.