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!!