If You Just Smile

“When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them.” Job 29:24

“You can’t smile for two weeks,” my oral surgeon told me after dental surgery. I have had a false front tooth since I was six years old. In order to obtain a beautiful smile, I had elected to undergo an implant procedure. But though these instructions seemed simple, I soon discovered what life is like without a smile.

The first few days were very difficult for everyone because I was still working at Focus on the Family. People initially asked if I was okay, thinking I must be sick or depressed. Sometimes I would forget, but the pain of smiling jolted me back to somberness. Most friends took pity on me and tried not to joke or make me laugh because anything funny was painful. But I disliked not being able to physically express what I was feeling inside.

In trying to put this experience into perspective, I searched for a verse with the word “smile.” Did you know that this word is not used in most general translations – only in the NIVs version of Job? Jesus must have smiled, but He never spoke directly about utilizing this expression. Interesting. While the Bible specifically records His tears, it omits His smiles.

Women in crisis seldom smile. But a smile from you is an important ministry tool because it conveys assurance, hope and love. Job 29:24 reads, “When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them.” And a verse from Charlie Chaplin’s song “Smile” relays, “they’ll find that life is still worthwhile if you’ll just smile.”