"I'm fine. Thanks for asking."
--- Really? ---
When asked how we are, most of us have a knee-jerk reaction and parrot the I'm-fine response. And honestly, most people really don't want to know how we are. They're just being polite.
But there are days when we're not fine. There are days when we're stuck in in the grip of pain, either physical or emotional or both. Days when our heart just hurts. For me, days when grief creeps up and ruins a moment . . or more.
Regardless, we put on our happy faces and march out to the world. Which more or less is as it should be. Otherwise we'd all be sobbing over the avocados at the grocery store or weeping at the mailbox. Society couldn't handle that.
But, friend, if you have faith in God you can be totally honest with Him, and it's more than okay. He understands. He didn't live in a world of rainbows and unicorns. He was a Man of Sorrows. He wept.
It's a relief to be able to pour out your heart to someone who really understands and loves you. That's what I do. It helps to give my concerns to God. It's what we're told to do, "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7.
I'm not going to elaborate on my heartache. It's personal, and I'll be fine. Grief is a weird thing. It lays in wait for you, and on days when you least expect it, it rises from the shadows and grips you in a crushing embrace.
I understand that. I travel through the experience without the need to battle my emotions. I come by them honestly.
And because I understand that, I believe it's okay to be sad. It's life in all its messy authenticity.
Tomorrow the sun will shine. I'll lift my face to the sky and feel its warmth. I'll keep marching out to the world, and eventually the grief will fade again. For a time.
In the meantime, if you ask me how I am, I just may answer honestly. And that's okay. After all, I am a prisoner of hope.