When You Just Need A Little Honesty


If you’re like me, you try hard to remain positive, look on the bright side, and count your blessings.

But some days, you just can’t  …

I’ll never forget one day during my student-teaching in a second grade classroom. Early in the year, one student, a stringy-haired boy with scabby knees, was having a bad day. He eventually crawled under a table and refused to come out. I was eager to prove myself to the lead teacher, so I rushed across the room to coax him.

None of my persuading was working:

“Come on out, you’re missing all the fun! Your friends are looking for you at the Craft Corner. You are so good at reading…!”  In fact, the more I talked, the further under the table he scooted.

Finally, the veteran teacher walked over, asked me to keep an eye on the rest of the class, and did something that changed me forever…

She crawled under the table, too.

A raised hand from across the room pulled me away, but I continued to watch them carefully. Neither of them spoke or moved for several minutes. Just as I started to doubt the teacher’s strategy, I saw the boy reach down to a scab on his knee and turn his head toward her. Finally, they were talking.

After several more mysterious minutes, he crawled out, walked over to the Reading Nook, and flopped down on a bean bag with a friend and a worn copy of If You Give a Moose A Muffin.

The teacher emerged more slowly, with creaking knees, a stiff back, but a warm smile.

She surveyed the room before offering me an explanation:

“Sometimes, you just need someone to admit life is hard.”

I nodded. Class dismissed.

Life is hard.

Those words can raise the roof a bit. Especially when it seems like you’re the only one under the table.

I’ve been there. Haven’t you? Some days, I search every corner of life’s classroom for someone like me. But it seems as though everyone’s dancing in the Music Area, no one has doubts in the Science Center, and answers come easy to those in the Math Corner.

I guess I’ll head to Pretend Play again…


But some days you just want a little honesty. So you crawl into the shadows – because nothing else feels real.

And when they notice you, well-meaning Christians are good at tossing scraps to live by:

“You have so much to be grateful for.”

“Stand on God’s promises.”

“Your joy will attract others for the Lord.”

But scraps from above are hard to choke down. And the tossing down makes you feel more alone than ever.

Christians forget we weren’t meant to stand above. We forget we can’t fix it.

But we can step into your dark place and whisper: Life is hard. You aren’t alone.


Jesus stooped low to meet us. He entered into the worst of brokenness to rescue us. He’s about love, truth, and an outrageous pursuit.

And as His Church, God calls us to bring His love to a hurting world. It’s in the bending of our own creaking knees and stiff backs that we can truly reach others with it.

This is my Body. Broken for you.

“And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.”    1 Corinthians 12:26-27

Are you under the table today? Are you choking on a gospel that doesn’t start with fellowship in the suffering? Then it’s the wrong one, my friend.

Reject the platitudes, the fake smiles, and the gratitude journals until you receive the Gospel of Christ right where you are. God will send an honest soul your way…

Pretend Play gets old. Sometimes, you just need someone to lay in the dark with you while you pick some scabs.

Before you can dance again.



Photo cred:
Child- Katie Chase
Flowers – Kendall Lane
Brushes – Alysa Bajenaru

11 thoughts on “When You Just Need A Little Honesty

  1. Linda September 16, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    Preach it, sister! You have a wonderful gift for expressing authenticity with such eloquence. I am so thankful for you, my dear friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown September 16, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      Thank you, Linda! I appreciate your encouragement – and you!


  2. Mama's Empty Nest September 17, 2016 / 10:16 am

    Exactly what I needed to read today, thank you. I’ve been under the table for well over a year now with life’s challenges smacking me (and my family) in the face one right after the other. The platitudes and “Christianese” people offer just makes one want to squirrel yourself away even deeper because they leave you feeling like you’re an unworthy believer, you don’t trust God’s hand to provide, and you aren’t thankful for the blessings you do have. If we are perfectly honest, sometimes life as a Christ follower isn’t joyful or pleasant. It’s downright hard and we need fellow believers to come alongside to encourage us on our way. You totally get that and I appreciate it and your words of truth here. Be blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown September 17, 2016 / 4:52 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. I’m so glad this message blessed you today. 🙂


    • Karen Brown September 20, 2016 / 6:12 am

      Jenny – Thank you so much for taking the time to read. From my experience, those who are in the dark didn’t make a conscious choice to be there. It’s more of a natural response to fear or being overwhelmed with brokenness. And, honestly, to treat them as if they are choosing to be there or planning to stay only heaps on more shame. Words rarely work in this situation. They need a loving presence IN the dark. And yes, JESUS! 🙂 Again, thanks for stopping by! May your day be filled with light…


      • Christina Robertson October 14, 2016 / 3:42 pm

        Well said. After losing my 20 year old son Nicholas, I have noticed that it is a rare few who are willing to come and sit with me under the table….and it’s going to be for a very long painful time. Yes! A loving presence in MY DARKNESS speaks a million more words than speaking or acting ‘Christian-ese’. Thank you for speaking from the depths of your heart. God gave you a beautiful soul.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Michele Morin September 20, 2016 / 7:02 am

    I know that I’ve read this post earlier in the month, but just have to stop in to say how nice it was to see your smile in the link up at Holly’s place today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown September 20, 2016 / 7:03 am

      Michele- You are so sweet! Thank you for this encouragement!


  4. Sandy Kippenberger September 25, 2016 / 2:33 pm

    Karen, Thank you for sharing. It’s great confirmation! Sandy

    Sent from my iPhone😊



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