July 25, 2011

What a Smile Reveals

Recently, when I picked up a newspaper at a local service station, the clerk at the register smiled and wished me a good day. I left with a smile on my own face.

Much is revealed in a person’s smile.

On the front page of our local Penn Yan Chronicle Express a short time ago, was the story of 14-year old Erma Zimmerman who lost her left leg and a portion of her right leg below the knee in a farming accident. Erma was interviewed in her home by Gwen Chaberlain, the editor of the paper who wrote, “Looking at Erma’s beaming smile, it’s hard to believe she nearly perished in a farm accident just a few weeks ago.”

Much is revealed in a person’s smile.

According to author and speaker, Christine Whelan, who teaches courses on the social psychology of self improvement, “a smile is the universal language of welcome, of happiness, of pleasure.” I would add that a smile is also a reflection of a person’s courage, self confidence and positive attitude.

None of us is in control of the future. As Erma Zimmerman discovered, our life can change in an instant. But we are all in control of our attitude toward our circumstance, whatever they may be. And though our lives may be turned upside down in a moment, if we have faith in God, then, to paraphrase St. Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, “. . . There is nothing in death or life — nothing in all creation that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

“Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” Now that’s a reason for confidence and courage. That’s a reason to smile.