Thursday, October 15, 2009

Joy Challenge - Day 31 - Smile

My Dad is working toward the day he can walk out of the rehab facility, where he has spent the past week, on his own. He grows stronger each day and soon he will do just that.

There are many people there, though, who will never be able to walk through those doors again. Their remaining days will be spent confined to those small rooms and long halls that make up the nursing home part of the facility.

I pass them every time I walk the halls toward my Dad's room. The tired eyes, set in softly wrinkled faces, seem turned inward. Perhaps they are looking back in time - to the life they once knew. It hurts my heart.

I have found that if I can engage their eyes and give them a smile from heart, they are quick to respond. Faces that seemed set in rigid lines relax and there is a connection. Sometimes that is all there is - just that smile in return - but with some it is the opening to exchange a few words.

Some time ago the Lord whispered to my heart that I could have a "ministry of smiles." I, who am so shy and timid about approaching others, could bless someone else by simply smiling. It is amazing the reaction this simple act invokes. The looks of surprise, the smile in return, bring me such joy. It is such a little thing, but the Father is a master at using our "little" to accomplish His "much".


That smiling doll is my granddaughter - more joy!!


  1. Living in a nursing home seems so unnatural. I wish everyone felt more duty to care for their own elders. My main fear of growing old is that I will be abandoned by my children and forgotten in a home.

  2. Linda,
    I believe that I have the "ministry of smiles" too. I love to smile at people and see their reactions. Seldom do people not respond back with a smile of their own, however big or small it may be. This post bore witness to my spirit.
    Thanks so much,

  3. you have been entrusted with a profound ministry, linda.

    and with each smile that makes its way back to you ... your heart fills.

    such is the working of our Lord and Savior. His economy is never for just one.

  4. I love it...a smiling ministry- it's the least I can do and I appreciate your sharing the thought!

  5. Yes a smile can bring someone to life. A touch is another soul building thing. Some nursing homes around here have a day care center in them. The young see the old and the old see the young... benefits both (o:

  6. Linda, a smile can go a long way... Some people don't even look away from the floor or the ground when passing...
    I'm grateful to see your beautiful smile...and that of your grand-daughter.

    It's great that your dad is finding his strength again...the strength you give him through you love and devotion is helping to be sure!
    I know it made a HUGE difference in my neighbor's mother of 96 who broke her hip for the second time a few months ago and is now home...walking again!

    God bless them all!

  7. Linda, that's so true! A smile seems like a simple thing but it really means a lot to those who rarely get them (or give them). Sometimes, a heart can be immensely softened and brightened by this simple and friendly gesture. I'm sure everyone in the nursing home who receives a smile from you is blessed by your kindness.

    Many sweet blessings!