This I Believe

Joanna - Fenton, Missouri
Entered on January 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the power of a smile. Smiles cross the boundaries of language and speech to convey feelings. They have the power to change lives.

Most Thursday mornings when I come to the door of the African or Mexican home daycares where I serve, I am greeted by the little children’s smiles accompanied by their screams and laughter. This is incredible blessing to me. Their smiles tell me they are excited and pleased to see me. They are overjoyed to see visitors who they sometimes have only met for the first time. Their smiles make me feel welcomed and loved. Their adoration is evident in their smiles. I want to share my joy to see them, so I smile and wave in return, and their smiles grow wider. As I come in, the grandmother who is in charge welcomes me with her own smile. We speak little as the language barrier is difficult, but her smile is enough to know that she is grateful and thankful that I am there. When I play with the children, and we are all laughing, the grandmother shares a smile with me across the room. I feel acceptance and approval from her and I no longer feel as uncomfortable with the language barrier.

There is one little Mexican girl who always seems a little sad and is shy. She was sitting on the couch one day after just waking up when her dad came in, gave her a bag of chips, and left. I looked at her with a smile, and her face lit up in a beautiful smile in return. Her happiness was evident, and I was able to see a glimpse of her personality and character. Her smile seemed to say she loved her daddy and was pleased with the gift she had been given, which was more than she would say to me.

Sometimes I imagine that my cat is smiling. She sits purring next to me and is content with the attention I am giving her.

With babies, a smile is a sign of recognition, of content, and of happiness. They cannot speak words yet, but they offer a smile that touches my heart.

For a moment an honest, genuine smile can brighten your day and offer a hope that someone cares for you. A smile in the halls on the way to class from a friend or from a complete stranger at the right time can make all the difference. When I am having a bad day or I am feeling down, a smile can be encouraging and can be more effective than any words spoken.

What is God’s smile like and what does He look like when He smiles? I see the smiles on the faces of the little children I take care of, the smiles of my friends and family. What makes Him smile? I think He must be smiling on me when I have the feeling of fulfillment, that I am doing what I was created for.

Everyone has a unique smile that gives them a radiant beauty. A smile adds so much to a face and can give it an altogether different appearance. Over the years smiles carve lines in our faces. These lines are a window to the character and sense of humor that is present in us. Smiles lead to laughter. Have you ever wondered why people smile in pictures? Friendship and love are displayed through a smile. What would we do without smiles? They are needed more than we think. They open the door to expressions of our joy and praise.

God knew what he was doing when he created people with the capacity to smile. We have been given the gift of a smile that needs to be shared with the world. So we should be proud of our smiles and realize their power. We have the power to bless people and give them joy in their lives through just a simple thing as smiling.