Changing the Lyrics

Last Sunday my church choir sang the song, “Smile”. I hate this song. I sang it once as a solo in high school and as I stood in front of at least a hundred grade school kids, I forgot all the words.

But that’s not why I hate the song. It’s these lyrics: “Smile tho’ your heart is aching, smile, even tho’ it’s breaking…Smile through your fear and sorrow…Light up your face with gladness, hide every trace of sadness, although a tear may be ever so near.”

I heard this message throughout my life, and I often hid my pain under a smile because I didn’t feel safe or accepted enough to show my true feelings. As I worked through my chronic pain, I gradually learned to acknowledge and express my fear, anger and sadness.

If you relate to this, I’m singing a new version of this song for you right now. “Cry because your heart is aching, cry to show it’s breaking. When there are clouds in the sky you’ll get by if you cry through your fear and sorrow, cry and maybe tomorrow you’ll see the sun coming through for you.”