Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Power of a Smile

I never realized how powerful a smile could be until a random encounter last week. I took my daughter Jordan for a doctor’s appointment at Georgetown Hospital. The trip to Georgetown was not easy with stop and go traffic all the way in and stress levels rising as we watched our appointment time tick away while stranded in traffic.

Fortunately, the office was flexible and willing to still see us once we got there. We were quickly sent down to have x-rays taken. As we sat in a small room waiting to be called, I still felt so stressed from the ride in and then started thinking about all I had to do that day which only increased the stress level. I sat staring straight-ahead when this teenage boy, I’d guess to be about 14 years old, was wheeled around the corner. We instantly made eye contact and he immediately smiled at me. I smiled back but that moment will forever remain with me. This teen’s face was horribly disfigured. It wasn’t clear if he was badly burned or in a horrific accident but the injuries sustained were obviously very severe.

In light of that, he still managed to hold his head high and simply smile. He wasn’t going to let whatever had happened to him hold him back. So powerful!, This young teen found the strength and courage to move beyond his injuries and chose to be a light to the world.

How many of us choose to hide behind our problems rather than be that beacon of light to world? It’s amazing the power a simple smile can give. It reminds us that this world really is about kindness and love. We may spend our days stressing about everything else but when the day is done, none of that really matters. I feel so blessed by that encounter and he probably has no idea how important that smile was. I’m thankful he felt empowered to shine his inner light to world. Yes, a smile can change a life; he certainly changed mine!

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