Jimmy McNeal


Apr 09, 2018

The Gift of A Smile

Often I have tried to bring joy to the face of an infant or toddler, but have you ever thought about how that actually makes you feel? Whether full of gums or 2 to 5 teeth staring right back at you, it does something special to a human being. I'm sure we all know the feeling when you don't actually succeed at that smile too though, right? You can make a fool of yourself by tickling them, making silly faces, and you get nothing. All you get is a blank stare or glare right back at the center of your forehead. When they do smile back though, there's a universal feeling all human beings can relate to, no matter the age! That giggle, that smile, those cheeks... It does nothing but bring you more joy than you had before. That innocent smile gives you this feeling that causes your face to react and your heart to feel something sincere. You are actually seen or noticed, even though it may be a toddler or an infant, for a moment, you get that sense of acknowledgment all humans want to feel daily. No matter how your day has gone or is going that smile does something that we don't always acknowledge, but it really does brighten up your day, even just a little.

I get the joy of seeing this smile just about every single day when I go get my 7 month old baby girl, Mahayla Rae, from her crib. I love that girl with an overwhelming amount of love that I can't even describe. You dads reading this can both understand and relate. I didn't believe all those dads when they said, "oh you just wait until you have that little girl......you'll be wrapped around her finger". I remember thinking, "NOT THIS BROTHA!  NOT ME..y'all are ridiculous, but honestly, that girl has my heart. I can't say I'm wrapped around her finger but I do love her with a different kind of fatherly love. When she smiles at me, it doesn't matter how my days has been, it brings me joy. It goes beyond the subtle look. The smile is delicate, but so jubilant and I love it! It's as if God decided to give me even more than just the gift of her life. The gift of her smile adds that extra bit of goodness and thankfulness in my heart.

I think any of us can relate. Think about this. You know that feeling you get when you haven't haven't seen a family member or an old friend and out of nowhere you see them at the grocery store and you walk up to them and are received by the same elated expression. It's an amazing feeling right? That's what I feel when she smiles at me! It brightens up my day, warms my heart, helps my mind to be present, and just gives me joy. Over the last couple of months now, I've wondered what would happen to most people if we did what my 7 month old daughter does. What if we simply smiled at people and did it often. Giving the gift of a smile can change ones perception of a day. We never really know what people are walking through, so why not give them a gift of a smile.

I believe God gave us this weapon that we rarely see as being just that. Think about it for a minute. Have you ever been extremely angry at someone or about something thing and the last thing you want to do is smile? Your face shows what's going on in you heart, and the longer you think about what's given you this anger...the angrier you get. All of us have been there before. Have you had that cousin, friend, spouse, parent, or child just do something silly to try and make you laugh? At first it makes you a little more angry, but their persistence starts to do something to you though. 10% of the time you'll punch them in the gut or give them that look to actually stop, but that 90% is the kryptonite! You break, and it starts with a subtle smirk and then an all out BIG GRIN on that face of yours. All of a sudden your heart begins to be softened, and that thing that made you so angry is put in perspective. 

Why don't we give this gift often? Have you done that today? If not, the nights still young, and well, tomorrow's a new day. Acknowledge someone with a smile, no intentions except to simply spread some joy to someone else. Make it genuine and authentic. Don't fake it. Brighten someone's day with those pearly whites of yours and you just might bring joy to a broken or calloused heart in need of looking outward instead of inward. We all need to put things in perspective sometimes, so go share this gift and share it often! 

Nothin' but love, 



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