A few weeks ago I overheard my oldest, Kenimer (age 7), say, “Mom – did you know that smiles are like magic?”, then proceed to unpack one of the most simple and profound teachings on love and honor I’ve ever heard.
“Even if someone isn’t your friend, if you just smile at them, they’re nice – they smile back, and it’s like they’re your friend then…”
My inner-conversations hours later confirmed some things hidden down deep: “So, why do I fight harder to prove I’m right or someone else is wrong, when most of the battle could be fought with just a smile?” Maybe that’s why Jesus was so wrapped up in sharing a table with others – the common meal: eating together makes you family… it’s harder to judge family… you’ve sorta got to listen, because they’re there… with you.
To share a smile is about honor – acknowledging the personhood – the image-of-God-ness – of another… it’s humbling, and levels the playing field to a degree… it’s forgiving and releases others from your often high expectations… imagine how you feel when someone approaches you with a genuine smile. Put the swords away – even if it’s a conversation to revolve a conflict, the weapons are put away – our pearly whites serve at our white flags… our hearts are open.
I resolve to hear my son’s sermonette and smile a lot more in 2013… no, I’m going to smile more now. So be it. Amen.