Giving away some Joy! can be as simple as a smile.
In seventh grade, my new friend Rosie and I had an idea. I can’t remember if it came from the suggestion of a teacher or from something we read, but somehow our twelve year-old minds got the idea to try an experiment in the halls of our middle school. Which, by the way, was a rather intimidating place. We two were the shortest kids in our class. (We’re still shorter than the average 7th grader!) We had just come to this new school from our familiar and cozy elementary schools. We both had a case of shyness around new people and in new situations. And there were big kids… NINTH GRADERS. Nobody made eye contact, but just pushed and shoved their way to their next class. We felt like we were swept along in a rip current when we stepped into those halls.
So we concocted a plan.
We would try smiling at anyone that looked us in the eye.
And maybe even say “Hi.”
And you know what? We saw that smiling and saying hello did make a difference! No, the between-class traffic jams didn’t get much better. But over time, as we smiled at anyone that was paying attention, we began to see some of them smile back. Sometimes they smiled at us first. And if we met them in an empty hall, we’d say “Hi,” and they’d say “Hi,” even if we didn’t know each other.
It was cool.
And it still works, even in real life.
In the long line at the post office.
With the crying toddler at the grocery store.
And with his exhausted mom.
Giving away a smile can help someone else
It only takes a spark to get a fire going
and soon all those around will warm up in its glowing.
That’s how it is with God’s love,
once you’ve experienced it.
You spread the love to everyone,
You want to pass it on.