I’ll never forget the first time he smiled at me.
He was immersed in a difficult teenage life. One that had landed him in the local mission of where I worked. He was hungry, tired, and lost–in every sense of the word.
He didn’t like me. I had been “the enemy” to him until that day we exchanged smiles. Through that exchange, however, something incredible began to happen. Something I could never have predicted, nor ever imagined.
A friendship was born.
When he stopped in we would talk at great lengths, but only on his terms. I couldn’t blame him for not trusting me–just another adult who would again let him down. He had a few of those in his past. But this adult wanted to be a different example.
Time passed, and with it many life-changing conversations. The day he called me “Mama” is one that is imprinted on my heart. I knew then he finally trusted me.
The last time I saw him we prayed together at the end of our conversation. His life was changing. His faith in God was growing. I couldn’t have been anymore excited for him or proud of him.
Weeks later he was discovered in his apartment, and his death was ruled a homicide.
I miss him as I think of him often. The picture I have of him on my phone blesses me each time I come across it. This young soul taught me much about life. I pray any influence I had in his life made an eternal impact.
It lightens my heart when I recall how a simple smile that day began to bring down barriers between us. How two unlikely people–a 19-year-old African-American boy and a 40-year-old Caucasian woman–began a friendship, all because of a smile.
There’s much good that can happen from a smile…
a by-product of a joy-filled heart.
Friends, those in our lives today need our smiles. Disappointments, discouragements, and disheartened news abound in life these days.
Your smile might just be the lifeline for someone today.
Be generous with your smiles. Let joy exude from your heart, and shine brightly on your face. Something so small, can make such a big difference… probably more than you and I will ever know this side of eternity.
Smiling at you today!
(Linking up with Katie Reid and friends for #inspireandgrow http://www.echoesofmyheart.com/2/post/2014/04/1.html.)
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