You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart; (Whether people choose to treat you better or not), you’re going to find (yes, you will), that you’re beautiful, as you feel . . . (A little twist on the Carole King lyric.)
The gift of giving is a beautiful thing, whether you feel you have a lot to give, have a little, or think you have nothing at all—believe me, you always have something to give . . . and it starts with a smile. A smile takes precedence in giving, and it is a necessary ingredient in operating in the fruits of the spirit. For, a smile illuminates from the inside, out.
Warming deep from within the soul, a smile welcomes the recipient in, out from whence, the cold (the world). How else could we even begin to share in love, one to another? In this, a smile opens the gates to boundless love and wondrous opportunities allowing us share and grow in the Kingdom of the Most High.
—And a smile is a gift that is understood in every language, in every corner of the earth, by all peoples, no matter where you find yourself. A smile is a language all of its own. It can be seen in our eyes, it resonates in our voices, and it can be felt deeply and instantly in that very moment.
A smile shines brightly like a lamp lit upon a hill and it can be seen from afar, touching those who are in distant (physically and spiritually) places. A smile is so uplifting. It adds meaning to the way we live, the way we move, and it enriches every fiber of our being. All that we do and experience can be elevated with just a smile.
These are lessons I learned very early in life, as a child growing up, traveling to foreign lands with my family, and often being in the company of a people whose spoken words I did not easily understand. I learned that a smile opens the doors to our hearts, with purpose, especially when our hearts are in the right place (united with the Holy One of Israel).
THE STORY OF A SMILE
When I was a little girl, my father used to playfully run through the house pretending to be a monster, chasing after me and my sisters. (Oh what fun! How I love to remember those days . . .) My sisters and I would be screaming, hysterically, and they would dart aimlessly about and away. But I, I was the child who would run towards my father, jump into his arms, and cling to him, desperately searching his face and trying to understand (the change).
My father would gasp, “—Nooo! Tanna! What are you doing?! You’re supposed to run away!” And I would hold to him even tighter, and look up into his bewildered face, still smiling. And that smile would break “the monster” in him. He would smile back at me, and immediately, dissolve all my fears to where I was no longer afraid. That is the power of a smile.
A smile is more than just a smear across a face; when it is authentic, it is like a spiritual balm of the Most High, comforting, soothing, it consoles and it encourages, it even has the power to heal us right away!
THE GUIDING LIGHT
Through faith, I have grown into a woman who does not run away from her fears; who does not run away from her pains, and who smiles in the face of adversity (sometimes only from the inside), meeting it head on to gain understanding. I run right into my ABBA’s open arms and I cling to HIM as HE smiles down upon me! And whatever it is in life I must attend to, I am no longer afraid.
The Most High is the Author and the Finisher of a smile, especially when you smile with your heart. Just look into the eyes of a smiling and laughing little child: You will see HIM there. But know, as welcoming as a smile might be, like any gift, it is not always easily received by others.
People do not always understand. They might question your motivations, or tend to find something wrong with the delivery. They might pick apart your intentions and not trust what you have imparted to them. Many people have iron bands around their hearts from being hurt, from being deceived. The world is in pain.
When you smile at someone they might just look away, or glare back, or they might ignore you all together. (It is difficult to gift back what is lacking in one’s own heart.) But, don’t let that change who you are and the gift the Most High has given to bring light into this world.
Keep smiling. Keep giving. Keep loving. Keep living the beauty that you are. Keep your lamp lit upon the hill. You might be the only lighthouse in sight. And someone is out there lost, looking for the light.
(Cover Photo by Daniel Xavier)