Let’s think about this: I may not be able to speak your language.
I may not have been born in the same country as you were.
I may not share your culture. My hopes and dreams may be different from yours.
But … when I smile at you, and you smile at me, a connection is formed between us.
That connection doesn’t happen by chance. A smile originates in God’s love from the time of creation!
According to Ron Gutman’s book called, Smile: The Astonishing Power of a Simple Act:
Researchers have used 3-D Ultrasound imaging to capture vivid pictures in which babies appear to smile in their mother’s womb.
Interestingly, smiling is one of the first facial expressions we learn to control.
When babies are born, they first smile in their sleep … When they’re just over a month old, they actually learn to consciously smile. Learning how to smile is accepted today as a developmental milestone in children. This was first observed in 1872.
Even blind babies smile in response to the sound of the human voice!
By three months of age, babies learn they can inspire smiles in others by looking at them. Shortly thereafter, they begin to engage in one of the first childhood games they initiate: the smiling exchange game.
As noted by the American Academy of Paediatrics, a ‘smiling exchange’ occurs when a baby smiles at someone in order to get that person to smile back, and when the person smiles back, the baby smiles again.
I think it’s safe to say that God created us with the ability to smile!
It’s harder to see our smiles when we are wearing the face masks required by law as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
But here’s an experiment we can all conduct.
The next time we are wearing our face masks and the opportunity to talk to someone presents itself, let your eyes look into their eyes.
Smile the biggest smile you can as you talk to them. Let that big smile reach all the way to your eyes.
Watch what happens in their eyes, and even what happens to their shoulders.
There’s every chance that their eyes will light up with their smile in return. You may see their shoulders relax because your smile provides them with a moment of joy and safety.
Smiles have a way of defusing tension. They help to create trust, and break down barriers.
If the other person’s smile doesn’t appear immediately, simply say, “I’m smiling under this mask”. That can help.
The value of a smile should never be underestimated. What wonderful things must babies be thinking to smile in their sleep, and to want to play the smiling exchange game with us from such an early age?
How God must love us to have created us with the ability to share this simple act of love with Him, and with those around us!