CINDY THE SACRISTAN...
The value of a Smile...
This week Cindy has been involved in some very interesting conversations. One was about the value of the SMILE. This led to the belief that we see into a person through their eyes. Insincerity in another person can often be detected when their eyes and their smile are not a match!
We are all drawn to happy smiling people. Some people can smile regardless of what calamities may be happening in their life. Cindy knows one such couple at St Michael's parish. One evening the wife had been ironing. She turned the iron off and went to bed. The family cat prowled around in the dark looking for a warm spot and jumped up onto the ironing board knocking over the still hot iron onto the floor. It appears the heat from the iron penetrated the carpet causing it to ignite. Within a very short time the entire house burned almost to the ground as the fire got into the electrical wiring and rapidly spread through every room. Fortunately fire alarms alerted the family and all escaped without injury including the kitty.
The parishioners were quick to offer help in every form. Offers were made for a place where the family could live during the months while insurance was sorted out and the house rebuilt. Support was given in every way possible by a loving caring community.
What impressed Cindy more than anything was how both the husband and wife always smiled throughout the ordeal. In fact they were very comforting to parishioners who felt devastated for them! Such is the faith and sincerity of this beautiful faith filled family with six children.
Looking into the eyes of this couple Cindy could see their faith, it matched perfectly their smiles. These are genuine people. What you see is who they are. No pretence.
Let's look at politicians for a moment. They are about to go out on patrol again - election time is rapidly approaching. Smiles beam from them with a falsity at times that belies their true feelings. Kissing puking babies as though they really care. Not wishing to target the pollies, one can detect this falsity of expression in many others. Car salesman have been Cindy's experience this week with a sales spiel of greasy smiles hiding secret agenda. Real estate people telling only the good points of a home they are trying to sell.
A person intuitive enough to see into a face and tell whether the eyes match the smile has a great advantage. A forced smile is false. Actors are practiced in this skill.
But let's look at this from another angle. Sometimes Cindy gets a bit sad and has a few days of melancholy. She does not feel like bouncing around and smiling. However she knows that if she is morose and withdrawn, she can drag her family down with her. Mothers are the lynch pin of a family's mood!!!! So she smiles. Her family may see the sadness in her eyes and often this leads to deep and meaningful conversations about whatever may be happening. Her husband and children are good listeners!
Now what Cindy has noticed is that even though smiles at those times may feel forced, they make her feel better about whatever is pulling her down. A smile can work from within, bringing healing — physically, mentally and psychologically. In the depths of sadness a joke that is truly funny can pull a person out from the pit. Once we begin laughing, the world opens up for us again. Humour may be the catalyst to pull a person out of prolonged grieving. This world is not all sadness and loss.
Lie-detector tests are interesting. Cindy thinks they work on heart rates. Yet, ask any mother how she knows her kids are lying and she will probably tell you it is by their eye contact — or lack of it!!
Have you ever looked at an advertisement where a beautiful stick thin model is smiling and waving a can of sun-tan lotion or something equally as mundane — yet their eyes show their inner desperation and you can tell they just need a good feed? They may be smiling, but their eyes show they are dying. A person caught in a life threatening addiction of some kind, shows the desperation of their plight in their eyes. You can see it, that pleading look that shows a person has become lost and out of control. Their eyes become a silent voice crying out for help.
Yes, the eyes are the windows of the soul. They reflect more than light and shapes. They are the door to our inner feelings. They reflect faith and light and love and happiness. They also reflect hurt and sadness, melancholy and grief.
Last weekend's Gospel told us the story of the blind man Bartemaus coming to Jesus wanting his eyes healed. He wanted to physically see. Already he had inner sight because he could see that Jesus was different and had the power to heal. The most interesting part of the story is Jesus asking him "What do you want me to do for you?" In asking this question to Bartimeus — Jesus asks the same of us. Cindy's Small Church group pondered this question at their meeting this week.
Perhaps we could ask for increased Faith — Faith of such intensity that the Light of Christ will shine from our eyes and our smiles. Faith of such sincerity and integrity, people will feel drawn by the charisma of truth that radiates from our eyes and our smiles. Maybe this is how we are to spread the message of Christ in this world. Do we want our lives to be so genuine that people only need look into our eyes and see a smile that matches, to know we are the 'real deal'?
We may be the only Bible some people ever read.
Contemplating the question of Jesus "What do you want me to do for you" is an incredible invitation from our God — the loving God of heaven and earth who can perform miracles. Cindy wondered how often she asks for favours from the Lord that are self centered and of little importance in the big picture of life. Jesus is not a genie with a magic bottle and will grant three wishes such as a never ending packet of Tim Tams!!
What is your answer to this question from Jesus? What incredible gift could the Lord give you that would transform your life?
Do you have the courage to answer this question or does pride hold you back?
Cindy finds this question as confronting as Jesus asking his disciples "Who do you say I am?"
A smile becomes a priceless gift when given away.
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