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Tuesday, May 1, 2012
This smiley face is on a barn on Rt. 897 in Lancaster County, PA
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"The Blessing Of A Smile"
"Men listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel. After I had spoken, they spoke no more; my words fell gently on their ears. They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain. When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them. I chose the way for them and sat as their chief; I dwelt as a king among his troops; I was like one who comforts mourners" (Job 29:21-25).
This week we are considering common blessings that we all experience, being both recipients and dispensers. Yesterday we considered the blessing of laughter. Today let's consider the facial expression related to the laugh, the smile.
I recall a time when I was out on a cold, blustery, rainy day and ducked into a small office area for a brief escape from the hostile weather. I was confident that I'd receive a warm, cheery smile from the receptionist and I was not disappointed! She not only smiles with her lips, but her eyes exude genuine warmth that accompanies her smile. A courteous or obligatory smile is not always reflected in the eyes, but a smile that wells up from the heart can be seen through the eyes as well as the lips.
A sign in front of a farm house proclaims: "A smile is a curve that straightens everything out." Well, a smile is a curve and although it doesn't necessarily straighten everything out, it sure does brighten your countenance, improve your appearance and positively affect your outlook!
What a blessing to be around smiling people. I can think of many people all though my life who have blessed me with their smile. Perhaps not surprisingly Brooksyne is right at the top of the list. But among my many smiling friends I consider Ken Pierce, who has a huge smile that often erupts into hearty laughter. In fact I can hardly picture Ken without his big smile. Here he is on hay ride with his smiling wife Nila.
We both recall a song sung during our greeting time at church many years ago.
Smile awhile and give your face a rest
Raise your hand to the One who loves you best
Then shake hands with those nearby
And give to them a smile.
Interestingly the Bible doesn't have a lot of references to smiling. But today's portion is one of them. It's kind of hard to read this without smiling! Job is sharing his personal testimony while he is in the midst of his suffering. In this discourse he considers the blessing he had been to others prior to his trial, "in months gone by" (Job 29:1).
Now I would have a hard time saying this about myself but notice Job's words, "When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them." That's sure quite a description of the influence of a smile isn't it?
Consider an individual you personally know who has a great smile. It affects the entire face as though it were bringing light to a dismal setting. Perhaps it also has to do with the fact that a smile isn't just confined to the lower part of the face, but it almost always brings sparkle and light to the eyes.
Consider these words as you receive smiles today and as you share yours with others. It can be a gloomy world with so much distressing news and for those going through hard times. What a blessing we can be to one another when our facial expressions are accentuated with a smile. Truth is, we'd much rather be surrounded by those who frequently smile, than those who rarely see anything to smile about!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I consider the words of Nehemiah who wrote, "The joy of the Lord is my strength" and Solomon who reminds us that "A cheerful heart is good medicine." Both verses speak about matters of the heart where we store up Your love, joy and goodness. Help us not to rely solely on external stimulus to bring forth a smile, but let our smiles be contagious as they are evidence of Your abundance within in our lives. Help us to find a person today who has no smile so that we can pass ours onto her or him in the Name of Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.
Brooksyne's Note: When I was a young teen, new in my personal faith, I really enjoyed the midweek services at my church that was geared toward young people. I remember the youth leader greeting me one evening at the drinking fountain with these words, "I really look forward to seeing you on Tuesday evenings because you always walk in with a big smile." I was completely unaware of this but I can tell you, after he paid me such a compliment, I made sure I had a smile that could be seen by others. It made such an impression on me that I remember that incident now some 40 years later!
In Sunday School this past Sunday Ruby, a newer member of the church, commented that she looks forward each week to seeing another classmate, Evie, who has a very beautiful smile. She couldn't see that Evie was sitting beside me when she made the comment. Evie probably blushed but it was a true assessment. In fact I appreciated the times Evie sang in the choir I directed because she smiled through the entire production which prompted me to smile. It works that way, you know!!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Smile Awhile And Give Your Face A Rest" Video Includes a huge smile (words and tune slightly modified from the way we sang it years ago)
"The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength" Video Twila Paris
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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