It was an ordinary day.
Rise early. Jog a few miles. Breathing in the great outdoors.
Then home. Shower. Dress and out to door for a day of teaching.
Yes always. I stopped at the local 7 – 11 for a hot cup of coffee.
Something about that fresh cup of coffee just started my day off right.
So on this particular day I walked into the store.
And there he stood. Off to the corner of the store.
Close enough to watch people scurrying in and out.
But not in anyone’s way.
Yes, I saw him.
And went on my way grapping the styrofoam cup
and filling it with my favorite brew.
Then as I turned and walked towards the counter
I glanced at him again.
Baggy pants, shabby oversized shirt. Big floppy hat.
But honestly that’s not what
captured my attention that morning.
No, there he stood.
A simple man. With obviously little means.
But a big smile on his face.
It hit me. Truth.
I quickly paid for my coffee and turned to walk out of the store.
My eyes met his
and for a second-
a brief short second
we smiled at each other.
It was seemingly that simple. But for days and weeks and now years later
I remember that encounter.
See I, the busy school teacher, on her way to school that day
was so focused on what I had to do that day – my responsibilities-
that I almost missed it.
I almost missed an opportunity.
And this man who is no longer with us
gave me a gift that morning.
A smile that drew from me a smile of my own.
A smile that lasted well into that day and for days after.
That it takes so little to smile.
But a smile is a gift you give another.
A smile draws us together in care.
No matter where you live —a smile is the same in every language.
A smile connects people and builds a bridge.
Yes, I’ll never forget that moment
when I saw him standing off to the side.
He gave me a gift that day. A gift that will last for a lifetime.
My heart was uplifted. My burdens lighter. My day changed.
And I was reminded of what is most important.
People. You and I. God. Love. Together.
Proverbs 15:30 “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.”