This past summer our family traveled to Europe and spent two amazing weeks in four incredible countries. The trip was a dream come true but there was one major concern that kept weighing on me as we prepared for our adventure of a lifetime.
I wasn’t anxious about our travel plans or my kids getting lost in a foreign country. My biggest concern was communication or lack thereof. I knew we wouldn’t understand the languages and since no one in our family could speak Italian, French, or German I worried that we wouldn’t be able to communicate with the locals.
What if we couldn’t find our hotel?
What if we needed to get a taxi?
What if nature began calling and we couldn’t find a public bathroom…have mercy!
If we didn’t know the language, how would we communicate? Thankfully our teenage sons knew Spanish, but I wasn’t sure how far that would get us considering their past grades… ahem…from last year’s Spanish class.
My anxious thoughts were put to rest once we arrived in Europe. The people were friendly and very helpful. Our homemade communication skills were just enough to get us by and allowed us to see more famous landmarks and old ruins than imaginable. But, here’s what I discovered. There is a universal sign language that crosses all borders, from one country to another.
What is that sign language?
Yep, the simple expression of a graceful smile can do amazing things when it comes to communicating with others. I witnessed it for myself, over and over again, while we were vacationing in a foreign land, so far away from home.
~ A simple smile can move a heart without saying a word.
~A simple smile can break down barriers and connect two strangers so that for just a few seconds they become friends.
~A simple smile is like an invisible hug, an unexpected gift, a way of saying “Hello” without breathing a word.
And here is the real beauty of it all. A smile doesn’t cost a single penny or a single second of your time. A smile is completely free and won’t take away from your to-do list, but it can make a difference in someone else’s life.
How would your smile impact the waitress that is having a rough day and wants to quit her job?
How could your smile shift the emotions of a cashier who is staring at a long line of frustrated customers in your local grocery store?
How might your smile encourage the bus driver that carefully takes your child back-and-forth to school each day?
A smile can bring encouragement and hope to someone who is having a bad day. And, that someone might just be you!
I’ve discovered a secret about smiling and I want to share it with you today. When you take a chance and make an effort to smile at someone, I’m willing to bet that they will smile right back at you. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself. Take time today to consciously smile at your family members, a friend, or a stranger and see what happens.
Remember, it won’t cost you a penny or an extra second of your time. It’s completely free but will shower beautiful blessings along your way. And, if for some reason that person doesn’t smile back, don’t be discouraged. Instead, maybe whisper a little pray in God’s ear for them – they may be having a really, REALLY rough day.
Hint: Don’t be surprised if when you smile at your kids then respond by saying “What?”. They just might think you’ve got something sneaky in store for them. 🙂
A warm, smiling face reveals a joy-filled heart… Proverbs 15:13a
Bright eyes and a cheerful expression bring joy to the heart,
and good news revives the spirit and renews health. Proverbs 15:30
It’s your turn….
Do you find yourself smiling throughout the day? If not, how come? What kind of impact does a smile have on you?
P.S. I’d love to stay connected and get to know you better! If you’d like to receive my weekly posts just fill out the “subscribe” box in the top right hand corner so that we can stay in touch. Also, if you have a prayer request, be sure to include it in your comments. It would be such an honor to pray for you!
P.S.S. If you’re having trouble reading this post, click on the title above “Who Are You Smiling At?”.