Behind the Smile

“All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul.”

Robin Williams

“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”

Robin Williams

“There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.”-                   Erma Bombeck

A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.     Proverbs 15:13

I think these quotes from the late Robin Williams are very telling about the soul that lurked underneath the façade we saw. Robin Williams was a genius. The fastest wit I ever saw was Robin Williams riffing on talk shows, or in his monologues. His mind went faster than we could listen to him. You would just try to hang on for the ride to keep up with the delicious humor that came from him.

Yet he also had a deep and sensitive soul. Some of his greatest work was in playing characters who were deeply touched by the suffering of others. It reaffirms my belief that the greatest actors are the comedians, because their humor often comes out of great pain. We now know that Robin Williams hid his pain until he finally couldn’t.

Often, we see only the veneer of people- the face that they desperately want us to see. To be really understood and accepted is the greatest gift we can get. To those who are in emotional pain, I hope and trust that you will reach out to get that understanding.

Prayer: Lord, you have made us marvelously complex creatures. Help us to share those parts of us that are hurting with those who want to help, Amen

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