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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

It's only a smile!

This afternoon, as I returned from walking my grandson to his Nursery School, I saw a lady walking towards me.  She was using a walking-stick, and was moving relatively slowly.  However, what struck me was her "soor face"!  It may have been, of course, that she was in physical pain; she may just have just realised that she had thrown out a purse - full of cash - with yesterday's rubbish; she may have received news of the death of a close friend.  But she had a soor face!

As we drew almost level with one another, I did something that she may not have expected; something that I have to confess to doing regularly; something that cost me absolutely nothing (yet, some experts claim, did me some good!).  Yes, I smiled at her!  And, believe it or not, that soor face broke into a smile back at me!  I would like to think that, if she met anyone else in the following ten minutes, there might have been traces of that smile still apparent!

A smile is such a simple thing.  Even the smallest of infants can manage to produce one - as can the oldest of the old.  Some of my former pupils still recall the last bit of advice I would offer as they left the classroom at the end of the period: "Keep smiling; and be happy!"  It's a matter of the will!   My granny - a woman of little formal education, but with a fund of "homespun philosophy" often told me "You die if you worry; you die if you don't.  So why worry and have wrinkles, when you can smile and have dimples?"

One of the wonderful things about a smile is that, it not only costs us nothing, but we never run out of them!  No matter how many smiles I give, I always have another one available for the next person I meet!

I can't think of any Biblical references to smiling, but there are plenty of associated thoughts.  Solomon assures us that "A cheerful heart is a good medicine," (Prov 17:22; RSV).  After the dedication of the temple, by the same king Solomon, we read that "... he sent the people away to their homes, joyful and glad of heart for the goodness that the Lord had shown to David and to Solomon and to Israel, His people." (II Chron 7:10; RSV).  James, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus writes "Is any one among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise." (James 5:13; RSV).

So, why not make a personal resolution that, each day, you will smile at everyone you meet - even while merely walking in the street!?  The very least that will happen is that you will feel better - and, who knows, you might just bring a smile to another "soor face"!

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