The Smile That Broke Me

Yesterday I fought the urge to pick up the phone and cancel, and the afternoon sun found me shuffling across the cement, a small toddler hand tucked into mine to face the day.  The sky burned a brilliant blue, but my legs were heavy, my heart clouded.  We passed an older gentleman and his wife leaving the building, and his eyes immediately met mine as a broad smile flashed across his face. In that instant, a small pool of tears suddenly spilled across my cheeks.  Maybe it was exhaustion, maybe hormones or pain, or maybe it was that this world has felt mighty heavy lately.  Maybe it was anticipating that today we would say our final goodbyes to a man of strong character; a father, a husband, a son… a friend, a brother whose life was senselessly cut short by the suffocating theme of violence and hate that peppers our daily headlines.

Whatever it was, it was a moment of humanity; a reminder that we are all just trying to make it, that we all leave our homes with a swallow of uncertainty in our hearts, and we long for safety, for compassion, for love. 

This world isn’t going to change.  In fact, it is going to get worse, but when you put on your shoes and your big brave face to confront the moments ahead of you, remember the impact a simple kindness can bring.  Remember that we are all travelers here, facing the fears that lie on the horizon, and longing for our forever home.  I will still drop my kids at school whispering prayers in my thoughts, telling them if I don’t see them later I will meet them in Heaven, because frankly these days are dark and uncertain, but I know in the middle of the things going down that something as simple as a well directed smile can bring a warmth to a cloudy soul, a promise of hope and of enduring love. 


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