I sat in church the other day and listened to folks talk to the brand new mom behind me.
“How is it going?” “Fine.” “She looks like such a good baby.” No response, but a small smile from the mom.
And when they left she breathed to her husband, “What else am I supposed to say?”
Tears filled my eyes. I hate the word fine.
Fine says nothing.
It’s neither here . . .
Fine makes it easy to hide.
How are you doing? Fine. When life is slipping through your fingers. Fine. When you’re barely keeping panic from exploding your chest. Fine. I look fine. Feel fine. The day is fine, thank you very much.
When the service was done, I leaned over to this stranger and said, “It’s okay to not be fine. It’s okay to struggle. Having a newborn is hard and THAT is okay.” The poor girl teared right up and whispered, “Thank you.”
I think we forget that emotions aren’t bad. It’s okay, good even to express the bad right alongside the good. It helps us know we aren’t all alone.
Not that you need to dump on complete strangers. That could be weird, but don’t be afraid to lament right alongside the poets:
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.” (Psalm 22:14-15)
Now that is a whole bucketful of not fine.
But for you, I pray that your day be more than fine. And when it isn’t, may you find a place where you can be your less than fine self for a moment.