Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blessings in the Basics Week 2: A Smile--God's Light in this Dark World

"While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world."
John 9:5
Doesn't it annoy you when you walk passed someone and they don't even look up at you?  Or worse, you smile at them and they don't smile back?  Or worse, you smile at them and they actually scowl at you?   
Maybe it's just me.

Oh wait.  Maybe you're one of those people who doesn't look at me or who doesn't smile back or who scowls.  I hope not.   

This month, I felt the Lord calling me to examine the very basic things in life.  Last week, I focused on breathing--such a simple blessing that many of us rarely think about:  Thank God I Can BreatheThis week, I'd like to take a closer look at the smile. 
At only five weeks old, my son, Ben, showed me his first smile--full of gums and drool, but it was the most beautiful smile I had ever seen.  Below, I captured one of those precious smiles which is one of my favorite pictures.  I love it.  Every time I look at this picture, it makes me smile because I know that he's smiling at me making a fishy face at him.  Every time he smiled, he lit up the room!
My efforts to encourage him to smile for the camera continued. 
Every time I look at this next picture, I laugh because of the huge smile on Ben's face.  But what you don't know is that the reason he has such a huge smile on his face is because I'm jumping up and down making monkey noises...and well...basically acting like a monkey.  Apparently, I was pretty good at it.  At one point though, I was being so silly that Ben said, "What's mommy doing?"  (We moms will do anything to get that smile for the picture, right?) It worked though. His smile lit up that entire back yard during that photo shoot. 
And then I realized just how much a smile can light up the world!   
A smile is such a basic thing in life, but it's so precious, and it has such power behind it to change things...to lighten the mood...to bring calm...to slow anger...to bring peace...to bring laughter...to bring joy...to bring light...His Light. 
From the time we are only weeks old, we can smile.  It isn't something we're taught.  It isn't something we're forced to do (even if you see someone acting like a monkey, you decide if you want to smile or not).  It isn't something that comes from the world.  It's not a skill that we have to learn.  It's not something that we are either good at or not. 
It's something we are born with.  It's something we all have.  It's something we can all do.  It's something that God created.  It's something that is just a true joy within us just waiting to come out. 
Lately, I've realized that I need to allow the joy of the Lord to come out through my smile.  
I need to let God's true joy that has been inside of me since I was a baby shine through me.  I am God's light in this world, and I believe that my smile is a way of shining His light on everyone I see.  Something changes in me when I smile.  I always feel better when I smile, and I definitely feel better when someone smiles at me! 
Bottom line...I need to smile more!
What about you?  Do you need to smile more too? 
This week, I want to encourage you to smile more.  While you're out and about this holiday season, smile more.  While you're working, playing, decorating, shopping, wrapping gifts...smile more. 

And don't ever pass up the opportunity to smile at someone else.  It's so simple...it's so basic...but it can be so meaningful.  It can be such a blessing to someone. 
You never know who might need to see your smile...who might need to have their day brightened...who might need to feel God's love...who might need to see God's light in this dark world through such a simple thing as a smile!  
And please, if you walk passed me, look up.  When I smile at you, please smile back.  And please don't scowl at me...that really hurts my feelings. 

Lord, thank You for the gift of a smile.  Thank you for using the smiles you have given my children to bring joy to my life and to remind me that You created our smiles for Your purpose...to bring Your light into this world.  Help me to use my smile to bring joy to those around me.  Help me to be Your light.  Help me to put down my phone, stop looking for bargains at the store, and start looking at each precious face that passes me by.  Help me to change the world, one smile at a time!  In Jesus' name.  Amen.   


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