A TOOTHLESS SMILE
I was in a local thrift store the other day. I love shopping there. It isn’t just that you can get bargains on used items, but it is the experience of being there that I enjoy. It is calmer and more peaceful than the big box stores. It isn’t as lonely as shopping online. And you also get to meet so many good people and have so many interesting encounters. You can even learn a bit about life and love there.
I learned something there just the other day from a tiny teacher who was much younger but much wiser than me. I was looking at the used books on the shelves for sale while my son was checking out the old DVD’s and CD’s. Suddenly, I felt a gentle pressure on the pinky finger of my right hand. A little hand was wrapping its fingers around it. I felt a warmth climb up my arm to my heart and looked down. A small boy no more than 18 months old was looking up at me with love. He had toddled under the clothes racks and ditched his Mom for a moment. I bent down, picked him up in my arms, and smiled at him. He grinned back with a toothless smile and sparkling eyes. Then he wrapped his little arms around my neck and gave it a squeeze.
Just as he did his Mom saw where he was and ran up to take him and apologize. I told her there was nothing to apologize for. Her son had given me a great gift, a wonderful moment of pure, unconditional love.
“Love one another.” This command was given to us over two thousand years ago. Yet, so many of us ignore it. We grow up guarded, fearful, and angry. Sometimes it takes a tiny teacher with both innocence and wisdom to remind us what it means to love again. I thank God for the one I got that day and I am so happy to share his message with you. Make your own life a gift of love then full of joy, kindness, laughter, hugs, squeezes, and smiles. -----