Thursday, May 9, 2013

You don't have to smile

Back when I was living in the second floor apartment of the Parish House in Gambier, OH, every day I would pass a piece of graffiti on the landing by the phone. It said "Smile. Jesus loves you." It made me want to strangle the writer.

I remembered this today, reading Allie Brosh's epic post on Hyperbole and a Half: Depression Part Two. Here's the image that made me want to employ a semi-automatic weapon that most of the time I want to see banned:

Is it just me? Or does it make you want to kill someone too?

When are we going to understand that "Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep" means just what it says? We're told to bear one another's burdens, not cheer one another up. "Jesus loves you" comes with no strings attached, not even a smile.

I saw this rewrite of the Serenity Prayer the other day, and I think it's worth sharing:
God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.
The terrible truth is you can't make people feel better. But if you can sit with them where they are, maybe that will feel ok.