Smile

The story that follows may be just that, a story; but it does contain a point of truth. It is that all of us, if willing, may be used of God. If we just keep our heart and eyes and ears open, an opportunity may present itself. Will you be ready and responsive? — Suzanne Martin
I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have
recently completed my college degree. The last class I
had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely
inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human
being had been graced with. Her last project of the
term was called “Smile.”
The class was asked to go out and smile at three
people and document their reactions.
I am a very friendly person and always smile at
everyone and say hello anyway, so, I thought this
would be a piece of cake, literally.
Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband,
youngest son, and I went out to McDonald’s one crisp
March morning. It was just our way of sharing special
play time with our son. We were standing in line,
waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone
round us began to back away, and then even my husband
did.
I did not move an inch … an overwhelming feeling of
panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why
they had moved. As I turned around I smelled a
horrible “dirty body” smell, and there standing behind
me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at
the short gentleman, close to me, he was “smiling”. His
beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God’s Light as he
searched for acceptance. He said, “Good day” as he
counted the few coins he had been clutching. The
second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind
his friend.
I realized the second man was mentally challenged and
the blue eyed gentleman was his salvation.
I held my tears as I stood there with them. The young
lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. He
said, “Coffee is all Miss” because that was all they
could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant
and warm up, they had to buy something. He just
wanted to be warm.)
Then I really felt it-the compulsion was so great I
almost reached out and embraced the little man with
the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the
restaurant were set on me, judging my every action. I
smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to
give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.
I then walked around the corner to the table that the
men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on
the table and laid my hand on the blue eyed
gentleman’s cold hand.
He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said,
“Thank you.” I leaned over, began to pat his hand and
said, “I did not do this for you. God is here working
through me to give you hope.”
I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband
and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and
said, “That is why God gave you to me, Honey. To give
me hope.”
We held hands for a moment and at that time we knew
that only because of the Grace that we had been given
were we able to give. We are not church goers, but we
are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of
God’s sweet love.
I returned to college, on the last evening of class,
with this story in hand. I turned in “my project” and
the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and
said, “Can I share this?” I slowly nodded as she got
the attention of the class. She began to read and that
is when I knew that we as human beings and being part
of God, share this need to heal people and to be
healed.
In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald’s,
my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that
shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a
college student. I graduated with one of the biggest
lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.
Much love and compassion is sent to each and every
person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE
AND USE THINGS-NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.

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