A smile remains the most inexpensive gift
one can bestow on anyone and yet
its powers can vanquish kingdoms.
The effect of a smile can be a happenstance of great import. Over a decade ago when I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life a smile changed me forever. And today, my smile did the same for another when I paid the blessing forward. So it is that I have now witnessed two simple smiles between complete strangers serve as the visible instruments of God’s grace.
The first: Years ago my husband, sister, and I had decided to go to a downtown movie, and I was dragging along behind the two of them in my melancholy. As I rounded a corner, a legless black homeless man was sitting in a wheelchair next to one of the buildings. His head was down when I first saw him, but the moment I completely rounded that corner it was as if he knew I would be there and he looked up and smiled so warmly at me and then asked the Lord to bless me. It was so surreal that it jolted me out of my funk for how could he who was so much worse off than I find it in his heart to greet me in such a warm and endearing manner? And so I knew somehow in my heart of hearts it was not a chance encounter for it had the Hands of Jesus written all over it. I returned the greeting and blessing but hurried past to catch up with my husband and sister who were calling me to hurry on. And I promised myself that I would make it a priority in the future to smile at everyone I passed for the rest of my life on the off chance I might make the same kind of difference one day.
The second: Last Tuesday after my treatment at Texas Oncology we were waiting for the valet guy to bring us our car, I was sitting and watching people come and go when a man at whom I had smiled, came over to thank me and tell me how much it had meant to him. He said that he had been getting some bad news the last several times he’d had to come to the center, and as he put it, no one inside the facility had smiled making it feel like a cold and unfeeling place. I smiled again and told him how sorry I was and that everyone needed smiles especially those who have to come to this place. Then I went on to say that I prayed the Lord would heal us both and restore our health and wholeness. Afterwards he quoted a familiar line of scripture to which I replied in agreement, “absolutely!” Then before he walked away he reached down and picked up my hand to give it a kiss of gratitude, and that was probably the best birthday gift I’ve ever gotten! Yes it was my birthday and I was worrying about what was going to happen to me and if I’d have more birthdays, but one more time the Lord made me realize that no matter what “All was well with my soul!”
Never, never, never underestimate the importance and power of a smile! I’ve heard people say, that they don’t smile at others anymore because nobody ever smiles back at them. And that’s true, but we’re not responsible for what others do or don’t do; we just have to answer fot what we do. And we never know how desperately someone may need a smile, a simple, cost you nothing, partnering with God smile!
A glad heart makes a cheerful face… ~Excerpt from Proverbs 15:13