We were lucky enough to have some freezing rain this evening, but it wasn’t so horrid that it kept me from biking home. As I approached my house (or what currently counts as my house), with my glasses thoroughly wet and my coat a bit heavier than when I had put it on, I looked up and saw this girl with her umbrella and she gave me a smile. I doubt she could see my face or much of anything except how crazy I must have looked with a wet helmet biking in the rain, but she noticed I looked up and gave me a smile.
A smile really is a gift, isn’t it? It’s difficult to feel anything but joy or reassurance when someone smiles at you. It’s a powerful tool that we so often forget about as adults, but the child rarely refrains from a joy-filled smile. It made me think of this story of a 7-year-old in Palestine, asking for her donkey back. The story mentions no smile, but I can just imagine it on such a girl, disarming the settler as she seeks justice and peace.
When I think of someone else smiling at me, I smile myself. I was doing some photography today, taking some pictures of people in and around my office, an it was interesting how many people chose to smile. We hear, “Smile for the camera,” as someone prepares to snap a photo, or else are implored to say, “Cheese!” ourselves in the hopes we will show our teeth. But why? Again, I think it’s that feeling of love and joy one feels when you see someone smiling, so why shouldn’t the person in the picture you look at when you’re in need of a pick-me-up be smiling back at you?
Could we take on evil with our smiles? Why don’t we try and see what happens.