This past summer there have been several sermons on using our spiritual gifts to the glory of God. There were those who came to the pulpit full of assurance and joy, telling their stories, certain that they were doing God's will. It seemed so clear to them that they were right where God wanted them. I am envious , for I struggle with knowing what God would have me do. My efforts seem puny when placed next to these beautiful testimonials.
Just recently I picked up a little devotion book that gave me pause. The author spoke of the simplest little thing that has a huge impact on people. His title, "SMILE" had me reading and rereading his words. Yes of course! How to reach out to people, just smile at them. I can do this. It is easy!
A long ago pastor spoke often about smiling. Christians, he said, "should be the happiest people on this earth. If we walk about with sour glum looks on our faces how can we possibly show Jesus to the world." More than once he passed out small prints of a smiling Jesus. I keep them on my bulletin board and smile when I see Jesus smiling down at me.
A smile more than likely will be returned with a smile. This can turn into a hello and then a conversation with very little effort. It is said, 'it takes more muscles to frown than to smile,' but I read that smiling can be good for your health? Research shows that smiling can slow down your heart and reduce stress. Just as importantly though a smile can bless others.
In Numbers 6:22-27 , God tells Moses to bless the Israelites with these words:
The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, and the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
The blessing was to convey hope that God would favor and protect, be pleased, be merciful and compassionate, give his approval and give peace. I like the words,"make his face to shine upon you." This gives me the indication that God was smiling. His face was shining!
I can show others that I am pleased with them, that I approve of them with a simple turning of my face into an upward curve. I can show them grace as I look kindly on them. I can bless others by being an example of love and acceptance as my Heavenly Father blesses me in the same way.
I can smile and it is even good for me so I will try to smile, not just at the beautiful and the adorable but the weary store clerk, the frazzled waitress, the loyal mailman, the lonely widow and any others I might meet. I can smile when others are sad or down, forgotten or blue, feeling rejected or misunderstood. It is a wordless way to say, " I get it, I care about you and I am sorry." I will work to be a blessing to others. I pray that God will shine on my efforts.