The Miracle of a Smile
 originally written & posted 30 Apr 06
I just finished watching a movie called "Smile" with Sean Astin and Linda Hamilton.  By the end of the film I was sobbing uncontrollably.  What a touching and humbling story!  The emotions I felt were magnified by the fact that so many people in this world share a similar fate.  Smiles have been such a large part of my life.  My fascination with the effect a smile has on people gave birth to an ongoing project the boys & I began last year.*  Yet it's something I still take for granted.  Scores of people around the world suffer from various deformities that prevent them from sharing this simple "common language" expression. 

 After the movie there was a presentation for the real life organization "Operation Smile."  This organization helps gather medical teams from all over to travel to a variety of third world countries to perform the surgeries needed to repair the disfiguration that hinders so many.  The impact of this movie, and seeing the real footage of medical teams at work ministering to children was immeasurable.  My heart broke to see the faces...to see and hear the desperation in the faces of so many parents who cling to a sliver of hope that their children will be helped.  So much desperation.  

My mind and heart were transported back to the trip I took to Honduras in August 2001.  I yearn to go back there...to help more of the people in the country that became dear to me during that short, ten day adventure.  When I visited the website of Operation Smile tonight I saw that they did, indeed, visit Honduras this year.   My heart is full of joy knowing that God has not forgotten that beautiful country nor her people!  

I do not know how to describe what I am feeling now.  So many have so little when I have so much.  Our family has been very blessed.  We have taken for granted so many of these blessings, including the gift of healthy and handsome children.  My heart is just bursting with a desire to make a difference in this world.  I pray that God will show me the how, the when, and the way to do just that.

In the meantime, I need to kneel in prayer and thankfulness.  I know where these gifts come from and I have been neglectful in taking the time to extend a grateful heart to the Giver of all good gifts.  After that, I will have to look on the sleeping faces of these boys.  I pray that I can find a way to teach them how to love and show compassion on those around us who are less fortunate.  The Lord did not bless us just for our own sake...we are to use the gifts we have been given to reach out to humanity.

May we be obedient and aware of how we can make a difference every day.
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*The Smile Project*
photo by Shirley: Sedge Fen/Apr 2006