Remembering the Magic of a Smile


“ A cheerful heart is good medicine.”

Proverbs 17:22

Today it was suggested that I put on a friendlier, more pleasant face when greeting visitors at work. The comment greatly troubled me.

I try very hard to be pleasant to everyone I meet. But I am not just the receptionist. I am often juggling several very important tasks. Today was Monday mail day (notoriously busy), payroll, and a board meeting. Today was also the sixth month anniversary of losing Brandon. My mind was in a thousand places. And none of them was really “a happy place.”

Of course, I have always had a more serious personality. Just ask my sisters. They spent the majority of my teenage years trying to make me laugh. Or ask my husband. He is constantly telling our sons to buy me a sense of humor. A “hee-hee” girl I am not.

So, I began immediately to mentally form my defense. Then God brought to mind this blog, which I started writing last night.

There is power in a smile.

This weekend I bought a set of chattering teeth. I’m not typically a gag gift kind of gal. Still, these silly plastic teeth make me smile. Everyone needs a little silliness in their lives.

Everyone needs something to make them smile. Why do you think cute pet videos are so popular?

Proverbs 15:30 says, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart.”

A cheerful look disarms people. A smile makes them feel welcome. It conveys warmth and love. It is a gift that we give to others and to ourselves. A smile helps heal. But let’s face it. Something so simple can sometimes be very difficult.

Sometimes it’s hard to smile. It’s hard to smile when I am stressed. It’s hard to smile when I am worried. It’s hard to smile when I am sad.

Yet a smile works its best magic in the most unlikely times.

Like the time I took a very young Brandon with me to a graveside service. I had tried to prepare Brandon for the funeral.  I explained in simple terms that our friend Jack had passed away. I told him that even though Jack’s body was in the casket, Jack was really with the Lord. 

Those were hard concepts for a three-year-old to grasp.  So, I was glad the casket was closed. I hoped that we would be able to pay our respects with little incident.  Unfortunately, that hope passed quickly.  As we stood in line, Brandon strained to see around the crowd.  Finally, he caught a glimpse of the casket.  It was then that he said rather loudly, “Mom?  Jack in the box?” 

That story still makes me smile.

So, I will suck it up. Tomorrow, I will try to be more intentional. I will smile more, for the benefit of myself as well as those with whom I work.

And I think I’ll put those chattering teeth on my desk.

What about you? What makes you smile?