Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"If You Just Smile . . ."


Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

I am an introvert.  Every personality test I take attests to this.  But, lest you think an introvert is confined to the borders of convent walls, or chained to a compound called home, I'm here to challenge you to think outside the assumed box.  When introverts have something to express and have something of value to share, they throw all caution to the wind.  Simply said, they get out there and do it!

And, when I have a book sale and signing as I did recently at our local Taste of Acworth, I am on!  It doesn't hurt to have puppet Grey as an eye-catching lure.  His antics of waving to passing crowds, and my invitations to any children I spy to come and meet him, serve both as ice-breakers and conversation starters.

People who stop always want to know what my books in The Glade Series are about.  I never tire of telling them, mostly because I can count on their inevitable reaction when I reach a certain point in my monologue which goes something like this:

Ten-year-old Davy is having a difficult time adjusting to life with his new stepfather, Jim.  When Davy learns that Jim has arranged for the entire family to spend the summer at grandfather's farm where there is no television, computer or swimming pool, he is beside himself with anger and decides to make life for his family just as miserable and unbearable as he feels in the moment.

But, all that changes when Davy discovers he is the Chosen One; only he can see and hear the creatures, like Grey here, called the Old Ones.  Through his growing friendship and trust in Grey, Davy's life starts to turn around, and he begins to see his family and himself in a whole new light.  I call it a story of love and grace.

Now, where do you think in this description my audience gasps in wide-eyed disbelief?  If you said either television or computer, you are dead on!  But, when they hear the rest of the story, their faces brighten at the prospect of Davy's summer being redeemed after all through the presence of Grey and the other Old Ones who have entered his life.

I don't know about you, but I love seeing people smile.  And, when they stop in for a visit with Grey and me, they always leave with one on their faces.  Oh, and a bookmark!  If I can't make an immediate sale, but know my listeners are intrigued, I hand them a bookmark which sports my website address and tell them they can find out more about the novels there, and can order directly if they choose.

And, speaking once again about smiles, all through my stint at this latest event, one is perpetually on my face.  It's not forced.  It is natural.  I'm truly enjoying meeting new people, and I believe with all my heart that when we smile at a stranger, we are shining Christ's loving light upon them.

Smiles are healthy, healing, inviting, transforming.  Grey's capers may catch people's eyes, but it's the smile I wear in greeting which ultimately draws them in.


Will you smile at a stranger today?

Prayer:  Father, we all have days when it is difficult to smile at someone, especially a stranger.  Let our knowledge that You are with us through all our ups and downs be reason enough for us to share a smile.  May our actions and attitudes always shine the light of Jesus into this darkened and hurting world.  It is in His name, we pray.  Amen.


12 comments:

  1. Dear Martha,
    This sounds so much like me! I too am mostly given to myself except for a very few close friends and parents and I prefer to enjoy the beauty of nature and trying to help people lodged in the so-called 'Old-People's Homes, etc. to watching mindless stuff aired on the TV. Yes, there's so much joy out there and the most joyous moment is when you bring a simple smile to another person's face.
    I JUST LOVED THIS ARTICLE!
    -Portia

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    1. Thanks so much, Portia, for your kind words and for sharing something about your own preferences. I love nature, too, and am so glad we live in a forest. :) I guess we are two introverts who love our writing time, too!
      And, smiles? They are priceless! Let's continue to share the joy!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Martha? *This* made me smile broader than the Mississippi, and laugh as well. Thank you for both gifts :-)

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    1. Thank you so much, Rick! Glad you had a smile that wonderful on your face! :)
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Martha, as a fellow introvert I can really relate. I may appear shy, quiet, reserved at times, yet get me talking about something I'm passionate about...watch out! :) That said, I do try and remember to smile at others, whether I know them or not--in a small town that's okay--however, likely not so good in a metro area!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Seems like a lot of my creative friends are introverts, Kim. I'm not surprised in the least that you are. :) Maybe, it's because I've lived in suburban areas all my life, I still smile at strangers; now, if I was in downtown Atlanta? I'd need to be a bit more cautious.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I love to smile. It brightens my mood, and hopefully blesses someone else's. It also gives better wrinkles! ;-) Your book sounds magical. What a wonderful idea for a story! Blessings Martha!

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    1. I agree, Deb - smiles do give us the better wrinkles! Thanks for the compliment on the books, too. Made my day!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I love seeing your photo there too. You do have a lovely smile. I have learned to smile even when I don't feel like it because even if I force myself to smile, I soon will be smiling both inside and out. I am an introvert too thought people think I am an extrovert.

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    1. We sound very much alike, Jean - I can put on the show when necessary, but love my quiet time.
      Thanks so much for the compliment, my friend, and keep on smiling!
      Love and blessings!

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