I just got home from the grocery store. As I was walking out the door of the store I encountered a lady coming in. She had a big frown on her face. We danced sideways briefing at each other to see who was going left and who right. Usually when that happens people will give a brief smile, say “excuse me” and walk on. Not her.
But I can hardly judge her, I thought to myself. I’m sorry to admit this but I evidently don’t naturally have a very cheery look. This has been a problem. Once I was paying for gas and was in a perfectly okay mood (though a little distracted I think), and the attendant said; “Oh come on lady, it can’t be that bad.” I looked up startled. “Smile” he said, “things can’t be that bad.” I was so embarrassed.
After that happened, I started to concentrate a bit more on presenting a pleasant countenance. I realized that part of the problem was that I was so often chewing on something in my mind. I can go on analyzing a thing for literally years and while I’m alone on the street or shopping by myself I can lose track of everything — even my smile. Of course it shows.
I know how much a smile can mean because I’ve been on the receiving end of some wonderful ones that have made a real difference to me. A smile can silently change the mood in a room, can lift drooping spirits, and bring hope and joy and forgiveness. Simple as a smile is, it certainly is powerful.
The Bible says; “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). A cheerful heart usually produces a smile and a smile usually produces a cheerful heart. Over time I believe I have made some progress in my own case. For the lady at the grocery store today, I can only hope my smile made a difference to her.
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