Smile! Someone needs it! Let me tell you why!

Several years ago as I was leaving the mall, I noticed a young woman about my age walking towards me. She wasn’t looking in my direction, but I decided to smile and say hello anyway. Looking surprised, she replied, “Hi!” Just when I thought that was the end of it, she added with a smile, “Wow! That’s nice that some people actually still say hello.” In that moment, I felt good about my decision to greet this complete stranger. The look on her face and the sound of her voice were subtle indicators that she needed just that—-a smile! And to think, I almost looked the other way! However, I asked myself, “Why look the other way as if she’s not there? She’s human just like you! It’s good to be kind, even to a total stranger.” Even though I didn’t know what kind of day she was having, honestly, she didn’t look very happy. Nevertheless, once she saw my smile, her entire demeanor changed in an instance! Legendary jazz singer and musician Louis Armstrong was onto something when he sang, “When you’re smilin’, keep on smilin’! The whole world smiles with you!”

Although that particular event occurred over ten years ago, the young woman’s words stayed with me. She was right! Some people don’t smile or say hello to those they encounter, unless they “have to”. I, too, have been guilty. I don’t always display my “mall parking lot behavior”. However, I should! Proverbs 15:30a says, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart.” What if my smile brightens up a person’s day? What if my smile assures them that there are still good people in the world? What if my smile makes them feel important? What if my smile gives them a reason to keep living? More importantly, what if my smile helps draw them to Jesus? Smiling is an act of love and kindness. In Jeremiah 31:3 God says, “…with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Our Lord uses those who are willing to bring more people to Himself.

I thank God for reminding me to smile because one person who definitely needs my smile is ME!!! When I notice that I’m beginning to feel sad or get upset, instead of surrendering to those negative emotions, I smile! Smiling suddenly makes me feel better. I then realize that whatever is going on at that moment is not as bad as it appears to be, or bad at all! Health and fitness writer Jennipher Walters says “the simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins.” For example, smiling can help reduce stress which, in turn, can “lower blood pressure, improve digestion and regulate blood sugar.”

When I choose to smile I’m showing God that I still trust and appreciate Him! No matter what, GOD is ALWAYS worthy of my PRAISE! So, I will KEEP SMILING because someone—–including ME—–needs it!

Pictured with my niece and nephews (Nigel, Mikayla, and Tre)

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