Laughter can conceal a heavy heart,
but when the laughter ends, the grief remains. (NLT)
The sad clown is not uncommon. Behind the cheery demeanour, the self deprecating humour, the bright laughter, can lurk melancholy. It is not that the sad clown is putting on a false act. It is just that he or she is choosing to submerge their sadness in certain situations.
This is what we might call common sense. We can’t wear our hearts on our sleeves in a way that ignores where we are and who we are with. There is a time to tuck our tears away and present a smiling face to others even as we are aware of a not so smiling reality beneath.
The danger comes when we refuse to face that deeper reality, the sadness behind the smiles, the melancholy beneath the merriment. Nothing wrong with being a bit of a clown and brightening up the lives of those around us. As long as we don’t assume that this is the only story at work in our lives.
Thankfully, the God who made us and loves us can see beneath the surface. He can give us the gift of laughter while at the same time understanding our sorrows. He knows the deeper reality behind the superficial reality. He knows real clowns shed real tears at times.