Have you ever gone smile hunting? It is really fun. All you have to do is catch someone’s eye as you pass them and smile! Usually you are rewarded with a smile in return. The worst that happens is the person will just look away. I love the opportunity to brighten someone’s day by such a simple act of kindness, and it is totally free. Unfortunately, I can tell by the somewhat frequent startled looks I get, just before a smile in response to mine, that smiles are an unusual occurrence in our world today.
It is even better if I have a chance to connect a little more with someone than just a smile. Take cereal boy for instance. I was in the breakfast aisle in WalMart and I saw a young man restocking shelves. The look on his face said his day had been boring at best. I smiled and asked him how it was going. He responded, “It’s going.” I mentioned something about cereal and my kids. We talked for two minutes at the most, but when he went back to his boxes of cereal he had a smile on his face. It didn’t cost me anything, in fact I felt cheered up myself.
As I was reading to my children this morning out of the book of Proverbs in the Bible, I came across this verse: “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” I looked up the word ‘refresh’ and a couple of definitions are actually to cheer or revive. There is the explanation about my smile hunting hobby. That is why I feel better, even though I have given something away in the form of a smile.
What about you? Would you like to join me in my hobby? It would be so awesome if we spread so many smiles that it was no longer surprising to see a stranger smile at you in the grocery store. I know there are so many things wrong with the world today, and a smile might seem like such a little thing, how could it be worth it, what difference could it make? To that I say, we have to start somewhere. If we start smiling at people, maybe we will truly start seeing other people. That could lead to finding out where they are in life, and that could lead to coming alongside them, and that could lead to relationship and that could lead to conversations about Jesus. And Jesus always leads to changed lives. It could all start with a smile!
“He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25b
“Do not be dismayed by the brokenness in the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.” L.R. Knost